A Travellerspoint blog

Rimini and some day trips.

Rimini is situated in central Italy; in the Emilia Romagna region.

large_5a572bb0-7b16-11e9-a080-a9915b44360c.JPG

large_DSCN0687.JPG

Being a sea side resort, most of the people go to Rimini in order to spend some hours (or most of their time) on the beaches.

In Rimini there is practically a long strip of beach. It is 15 kilometers long or maybe more.

Many beaches are of private property, but there are free of charge ones. There are dogs friendly beaches as well.

As in most of the Italian seaside resort these beaches are very crowded during the month of august. Thus I' d suggest to spend your days in Rimini in june or at the beginning of september.

large_5ddc81e0-7b16-11e9-a080-a9915b44360c.JPG

large_d43a8f70-7bb7-11e9-97b0-1f5bd3d9de91.JPG

The Malatestian temple is one of the main sights in Rimini.

There was a church since the IX century on its site.Then it was built the church of Saint Francis in the XIII century. It was redesigned in 1450 by order of Sigismondo Malatesta as his and her mistress' burial site.

large_d747a860-7bb7-11e9-97b0-1f5bd3d9de91.JPG

Inside it is richly ornated with sculptures. Its main sights are a crucifix by Giotto; created in 1312 and a fresco by Piero della Francesca of 1451 depicting Sigismondo kneeling in front of Saint Sigismond.

large_602efd60-7b16-11e9-a080-a9915b44360c.JPG

large_6829fd30-7b16-11e9-a080-a9915b44360c.JPG

This church was restored after it suffered serious damages in the WWII war.

large_DSCN0635.JPG

Piazza tre Martiri is one of the two main squares in Rimini. It occupies partly the forum or Ariminum; the Roman colony founded in 268 B. C.

Its previous names were; Piazza Grande, Piazza Sant Antonio, Piazza Giulio Cesare and Piazza delle Erbe. It was named "tre Martiri" to commemorate the death of three partisans hanged there in 1944. Martiri means "marthyrs".

large_415723c0-7cb7-11e9-92e2-8538d39eca8d.JPG

Here you see a nice clock tower, built in 1547 and rebuilt in 1753 and the small chapel dedicated to Saint Anthony. This dates between 1575 and 1578.

large_DSCN0631-001.JPG

Saint Anthony' s chapel.

large_c93bda90-b233-11e9-9535-e99c88916bd9.JPG

Corso 101 Vulpitta dolciumi is one of my favourite shops in Rimini. Here they sell sweets, wines, alcoholic drinks, tea, coffee and lots of other items. You can find it around the corner of piazza Tre Martiri; in corso d' Augusto.

large_DSCN0697-001.JPG

This is a small shop but full of things. I could stay into this shop for a lot of time; really.

large_c16e6560-7bb7-11e9-b3bd-4376c6043e07.JPG

La Casa del Chirurgo. The Surgeon' s house.

There are some Roman remains in Rimini. One of these is a large floor mostly decorated with mosaics. This is what is left of the house of a surgeon. It was built during the second half of the second century A. D.

It was a two storey building with several rooms and a garden. There was even a workplace for visits and operations.

Various surgical tools were found here. Now these are in the city museum.

large_baa5a400-7bb7-11e9-b3bd-4376c6043e07.JPG

large_bd1fcbc0-7bb7-11e9-b3bd-4376c6043e07.JPG

If you are quite attentive you can spot a couple of skeletons among the mosaics.

large_c64568e0-7bb7-11e9-b3bd-4376c6043e07.JPG

large_DSCN0638.JPG

Piazza Cavour is another square in this town.

large_c8f65810-7bb7-11e9-b3bd-4376c6043e07.JPG

There are three palace joined together in Piazza Cavour. On your right; near the street you see Palazzo Garampi; built at the end of the XVII century. It is used as town hall today.

Palazzo dell' Arengo housed a courthouse. It is located in the middle of this group of palaces. It was built in 1204. The third palace is Palazzo del Podestà . This was were the lord of the town lived. It dates between 1330 e il 1334. Today it is the seat of various expositions .

Next to the palaces there is the theater Amintore Galli built between 1843 and 1856.

large_DSCN0643.JPG

large_4f2c5ee0-7a49-11e9-92fc-d776fdd5b80a.JPG

In piazza Cavour there is a large fountain; fontana della Pigna (i. e. pine cone). There is also a big statue of Pope Paul V.

large_437b34e0-7a49-11e9-92fc-d776fdd5b80a.JPG

Opposite the three palaces you see an old fish market; built in 1743. Today there is a flowers market inside this building. I suppose it is in operation every morning.

large_DSCN0641.JPG

Here you can see the teather Amintore Galli.

large_57a5ee60-7b16-11e9-a080-a9915b44360c.JPG

Città del Sole is another favourite shops of mine in Rimini. Here you can find mostly toys, but also something for adults, as table games and books. This shop is part of a chain which has shops located in various towns in Italy.

large_df8e35a0-7cb3-11e9-92e2-8538d39eca8d.JPG

Città del Sole is located at via Tempio Malatestiano. At n. 45.

large_d698d040-7cb3-11e9-92e2-8538d39eca8d.JPG

large_d4f8b4d0-7cb3-11e9-92e2-8538d39eca8d.JPG

Get lost in Rimini! You will discover several nice areas.

large_DSCN0644.JPG

The Tiberius bridge is a beautiful Roman bridge. This five arched stone bridge was started during the reign of Augustus in 14 A. D. and completed under Tiberius' reign in 21 A. D.

Originally it was built to cross the Marecchia river, but this was later diverted to avoid floods. This bridge has survived floods, war attacks and earthquakes.

It connects corso d' Augusto; the old town' s main street with Saint Giuliano quarter (Borgo San Giuliano). This bridge is open to pedestrians and cars except for heavy vehicles.

large_DSCN0645.JPG

Borgo San Giuliano is one of the oldest areas in Rimini. It was originally inhabited by seafarers and fishermen.

large_DSCN0660.JPGlarge_DSCN0655.JPG

large_DSCN0653.JPG

large_DSCN0651.JPG

large_DSCN0647.JPG

Today this area is a kind of village, with lots of colorful houses, the main square with a church; several cafes, restaurants and shops.

large_d029d120-7d83-11e9-bfb8-f511d6b4cb8b.JPG

I stayed some times at a nice three stars hotel in Rimini. Hotel Clitunno. It is situated in Viserbella; an area part of Rimini.

Last time I booked a room there, I was given a double room with bathroom en suite there. It had also a small balcony.

Breakfast at this hotel is buffet style; with pastries, bread, cold cuts, jam and other food. Hot drinks, as coffee, cappuccino and hot chocolate are served at your table. Lunch and dinner are partly buffet style. Food at hotel Clitunno was really good.

large_67744225_10157094595015306_2931112817840881664_n.jpg

Hotel Clitunno has a communal room, a cafe and a terrace. This hotel is located near the sea. See; www.hotelclitunno.net

large_ebacbaf0-7c04-11e9-be62-d10a755242fa.JPG

Cesenatico is a beautiful sea side resort located between Rimini and Ravenna.

I did a day trip from Rimini to this town last time I visited Rimini. The journey from Rimini to Cesenatico lasted around half an hour by train.

I didn' t visit any beaches in Cesenatico the day I was there, I only stayed in the old center and I walked a lot.

large_ede6cc70-7c04-11e9-be62-d10a755242fa.JPG

large_f0529c50-7c04-11e9-be62-d10a755242fa.JPG

large_f34f3a80-7c04-11e9-be62-d10a755242fa.JPG

I think the highlight of this town is its canal port. It is said it was designed by Leonardo da Vinci in 1502. It is situated in the center of Cesenatico.

large_f66a5d30-7c04-11e9-be62-d10a755242fa.JPG

This harbour is bordered by lots of buildings painted in various colours. Many of these house shops, cafes and restaurants. There are some colourful old boats moored at this port which are part of the museo della marineria (a naval museum).

large_61dfd0d0-7a49-11e9-92fc-d776fdd5b80a.JPG

Santarcangelo di Romagna is a beautiful village some 10 kilometers far from Rimini. I went there by bus from Rimini.

large_5cf78f40-7a49-11e9-92fc-d776fdd5b80a.JPG

It has a fortress (Rocca), built in 1386 (there was a previous one); enlarged and modified after a century.

large_DSCN0688.JPG

Near and below the fortress you can explore the Medieval area of the village with a network of narrow cobbled streets and nice houses. The "modern" area has lots of shops and cafes to rest a bit.

large_DSCN0689.JPG

large_DSCN0692.JPG

large_DSCN0693.JPG

Santarcangelo has also a couple of museums. A museum of buttons; where you can see a large display of buttons from various ages and an archaeological museum.

large_DSCN0695.JPG

In this picture you see the upper area of Santarcangelo from a park.

Beside Cesenatico and Santarcangelo di Romagna you can visit San Marino as a day trip from Rimini.

San Marino is a country located within Italy. It is the third smallest country in Europe and one of the oldest in the world.

You can go from Rimini to San Marino by coach. You can take one just outside the train station.

According a legend San Marino was founded by Marinus, a Dalmatian stomemason, in 301 A. D. He left his country to avoid the christian persecutions of Diocleatianus.

There are nine municipalities in this country. These are called "castelli".

I will tell you something about its capitol town; San Marino. Yes, it bears the same name of the state.

large_DSCN0661.JPG

Piazza della Libertà is San Marino main square. Here you can see the Palazzo Pubblico. This palace is the seat of the parliament and where important official happenings take place. It was built in 1894.

large_DSCN0664.JPG

large_DSCN0680.JPG

This country has several shops that offer tax free goods for foreigners. San Marino even if it is a small town has a good choice of shops of various kinds.

large_DSCN0666.JPG

large_DSCN0669.JPG

large_DSCN0670.JPG

There are three towers in San Marino. Well; two of them are fortresses, The other is a proper tower.

The first tower is called Torre Rocca or Guaita. It dates around to the XI century.

large_DSCN0672.JPG

This is the witches' path (its Italian name is il Sentiero delle Streghe). It is the path which links the fist the first and the second towers.

large_DSCN0673.JPG

This arch lies under the witches' path.

large_DSCN0674.JPG

The second tower; Torre Cesta or Fratta was built around the 1400. It is situated on the highest point of the Mount Titano. Here you see a view from this tower.

large_DSCN0675.JPG

This tower houses a weaponry museum inside.

The third tower is called Montale and housed a prison. It is not opened to visitors. I didn' t take any picture of this tower.

large_4cf2f6e0-7dfd-11e9-bd43-43fd6561ef84.JPG

The garden you see in this picture is next to the Cava dei Balestrieri (the crossbowmen' s cave). This cave is the site of many events.

large_511bb900-7dfd-11e9-bd43-43fd6561ef84.JPG

There are some nice statues inside this garden.

large_8d17ac70-7e16-11e9-818a-a31dd31531ad.JPG

After a long stroll you can rest a bit at this garden; the Giardino dei Liburni.

large_947fe220-7e16-11e9-818a-a31dd31531ad.JPG

This garden is quite simple, but nice.

large_DSCN0679.JPGlarge_DSCN0677.JPG

large_DSCN0665.JPG

large_96a6b680-b48c-11e9-9a54-198a5ca5a3a7.JPG

I had a good ice cream at cafe Titanium. At this small place they sell a large choice of ice creams flavours.

large_DSCN0684.JPG

This is a close up of the main gate' s door of the town.

Posted by Maurizioagos 04:02 Archived in Italy Tagged sant di angelo rimini sea. romagna.san marino. Comments (1)

Rhodes Island.

sunny

large_435fc560-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

The island of Rhodes is located in southeastern Greece. It is the largest of the Dodecanese islands. I spend a week there several years ago.

I explored quite well the capitol of Rhodes; Rhodes Town, Lindos and some other places.

Rhodes Town has an interesting Medieval area and also a modern neighboorhood with all the amenities for tourist and locals.

large_691cb880-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

The Palace of the Grandmasters is one of the highlights of Rhodes Town.

large_6597fe90-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

Originally this palace was built in the late 7th century as a Byzantine citadel. It was converted by the knights Hospitaller into their administrative center and the palace of their Grand Master.

During the Ottoman occupation; from 1522 to 1912 this building was used as prison. In 1865 and explosion in an arsenal almost destroyed the palace. In the early 20th century it was restored by the Italians.

large_680ecaf0-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

On the first floor of the palace there were several official rooms, the dining room and the private quarters of the Grand Master.

large_7fdd2730-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

large_41a718e0-b2b7-11e9-ac02-930308be9f2f.jpg

The palace had 158 rooms. Today only 24 are open to visitors. Inside you can see a couple of collections of archaeological finds.

I don' t remember much about this palace but I remember there were various nice statues of angels inside.

large_6500c7a0-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

The archaeological museum is another sight in Rhodes Town. It is housed in the main hospital of the city during the knights' era. This palace was built in 1440 and enlarged between 1481 and 1489. It was restored between 1913 and 1918.

large_4ed71ab0-b2b7-11e9-ac02-930308be9f2f.jpg

This museum has lots of findings as vases, figurines, mosaic floors; funerary slabs of the knights. There is even a collection of Roman sculptures and two 6th century kouros. These are statues of idealized young males.

The thing I liked much of all here was the statue of the so-called Aphrodite of Rhodes. It is more than 2000 years old (see pic.).

large_937b9560-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

The Byzantine tower clock (Roloj) is nice tower built on the ruins of a Byzantine tower that was connected with the Palace of the Grand Master. In 1856 it was destroyed by the explosion of the nearby church of S. John of the Knights.

For the price of some euros you can go up to the top and enjoy the landscape over the town. A complimentary drink is included in the fee.

large_5eea3f40-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

The old core of Rhodes Town is surrounded by walls. These were probably built on Byzantine fortifications in stages; from 1330 to 1522.

The walls are around 4 km long and have an average thickness of 12 metres. They have several towers and eleven gates.

Each order of knights was responsible for the defense of a section of the walls.

large_9c294360-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

Ipoton Street, or the street of the knights is about 600 meters long. Here, on both sides you can see the inns belonged to them. These were used as gathering places and temporary residences for visiting dignitaries. Today the inns are used as government offices.

large_75045bd0-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

Sokratus street runs downhill from Suliman pasha' s mosque to Hippokates square. It is the main street in the old town. It is packed with shops and cafes.

large_59829480-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

The mosque of Suliman pasha was originally built in 1542. Then it was rebuilt in 1808. Unfortunately when I visited Rhodes town it was closed.

large_4ec392b0-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

large_4cbf1020-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

At Ippokratus square you can find various shops and restaurants. The building with a staircase you see in this picture is the Kastelania. It was built in 1597 and was used as a shopping mall. Today it houses the town library.

large_55cd0690-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

The Mandraki harbour was the port of ancient Rhodos. Its entrance could be closed with chains. Here you see two statues of a male and a female deer on columns; three windmills not more in use and a 15th century fort.

At the harbour you can see lots of fishing boats and boats which leave for day trip cruises to Symi Island, to Marmaris; in Turkey and to other places.

large_6173f760-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

If you feel like shopping or if you are looking for a restaurant you can head to the new market; or Nea Agorà . This market is situated opposite the Mandraki. There is a good choice of restaurants, cafes and shops inside.

large_8f9c1140-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

The Kallithea spa has been popular since the ancient times for its therapeutic properties. They could treat arthritis, diabetes, malaria, allergies and other diseases. It is situated some miles from Rhodes Town.

large_88e77420-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

In 1928 the first buildings were constructed above the thermal springs. At the end of the 20th century they fell in abandonment and neglect. They were restored and reopened by the Italians in 2007.

large_8eec2230-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

large_873a3950-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

large_81df86e0-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

The Kalithea spa is a very nice place to spend some hours under the sun. There is a beach here.

At Kallithea spa there is a cafe where you can have some food and the toilets.

large_19f1ff40-b2b7-11e9-ac02-930308be9f2f.jpg

The beach at Anthony Quinn' s Bay is one of the few beaches I visited when I was in Rhodes Island. It is is a beautiful and small peeble beach. I have read it is not suitable to young children and elderly pepole, due to the presence of sharp rocks inside and out of the water.

large_10778b60-b2b7-11e9-ac02-930308be9f2f.jpg

It is situated on the east coast of Rhodes; around four km south of Faliraki and 15 kms from Rhodes Town.

After filming the Guns of Navarone; Anthony Quinn bought this bay to create an international center for artists and film makers. This purchase was later annulled by the government.

There is a restaurant nearby.

large_97ecf940-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

Lindos is probably one of the most popular villages on the island.

It is a car free town. Streets are too narrow for cars there. The only area where you can find cars and bikes is the town square. This is the only square in Lindos. Here you can find the tourist office, some cafes, restaurants and the taxi stop.

The only transportation option in town (except for taxis) are the donkeys. This is one of the ways to go to the Acropolis.

There are various buses going from Rhodes Town to Lindos and vice versa every day. They stop just uphil the town. I think the journey between Rhodes Town and Lindos should take around one hour

large_952526b0-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

large_3ca9c8b0-b2b7-11e9-ac02-930308be9f2f.jpg

large_36c96b80-b2b7-11e9-ac02-930308be9f2f.jpg

The acropolis is the main sight in Lindos.

I wasn' t impressed by this fortress. Probably because I know very little about ancient history.

The acropolis was built on a rock overlooking Lindos. It is surrounded by well preserved walls built by the knights (and later restored).

Inside the walls you can see several remains of ancient temples. They were restored by the Italians during their occupation of the island. When I visited this site it was still under construction.

There are two ways to reach the acropolis. One is by climbing lots of stairs. Another is going there by donkey.

large_2ab90a80-b2b7-11e9-ac02-930308be9f2f.jpg

I liked much the landscape from the acropolis. You can see most of the village from there.

large_27fe7e60-b2b7-11e9-ac02-930308be9f2f.jpg

Another wiev from the acropolis.

large_20d6d420-b2b7-11e9-ac02-930308be9f2f.jpg

The church of Panagia is Lindos' main church. It was built in the 14th century. In 1489 it was restored. It is surrounded by a wall.

The walls inside the church are decorated with frescoes painted in the 19th century. These depict biblical scenes.

There are also frescoes on its vaulted roof. These were painted in 1779. Its floor is covered with a mosaic of small white and black peebles. This kind of decoration is called hohlaki.

large_34698280-b2b7-11e9-ac02-930308be9f2f.jpg

large_20552100-b2b7-11e9-ac02-930308be9f2f.jpg

large_425e33e0-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

large_198c1180-b2b7-11e9-ac02-930308be9f2f.jpg

Lindos has a big choice of shops and restaurants. Some of these have a roof terrace.

large_2fc268a0-b2b7-11e9-ac02-930308be9f2f.jpg

large_7a831100-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

Lindos has two beautiful beaches linked by a path. They aren' t far from the town center but you have to climb down lots of stairs to get to them.

large_6d0a6d70-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

large_557a2ba0-b2b7-11e9-ac02-930308be9f2f.jpg

Lindos from afar.

large_729b9930-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

large_6ead9620-b2b7-11e9-bbf0-79c2cdf5ab16.jpg

The Rodini Park was probably the first landscaped park in the world.

Here you can see several peacocks walking free, turtles and some other animals. It is a good place to enjoy the nature. You can go to this park by bus from Rhodes Town.

Posted by Maurizioagos 11:40 Archived in Greece Tagged island rhodes lindos dodecanese. Comments (5)

Valencia.

overcast

large_910ad380-a4c1-11e9-93f8-bfcdedcbc5fd.JPG

I visited Valencia several years ago. I explored the city center quite well and I also went to one of its beaches

large_9008ccd0-a4c1-11e9-93f8-bfcdedcbc5fd.JPG

Valencia is a large city located on the south - eastern coast of Spain.

It is well known for the paella, for the fallas (a feast) and for horchata; a not alcoholic drink made with a kind of potato.

In this post I will show you some things you can see and do in this city.

large_8d964630-a4c1-11e9-93f8-bfcdedcbc5fd.JPG

The Turia River that flew through the city used to flood regularly. It was diverted south of the city after a terrible flooding happened in 1957. Later it was decided to transform its bed into a park; the Turia gardens.

These are practically a large and long (about 9 km) park that borders the old city. It has playground areas for kids, cycle paths, and several sports areas.

large_33cb5920-a542-11e9-8857-dd6c328d13fc.JPG

Nineteen bridges cross these gardens. Some of them are new and other are the old bridges of the river. One of my favourite is the Puente de las Flores. This is decorated with lots of flowers at the borders and has two walkways for pedestrians and some benches.

large_8165a780-a407-11e9-bc3e-b3df68b2b1dd.JPG

The cathedral was built mainly between the XIII and the XV centuries, but its construction went on for many centuries. It was built on the site of a mosque. This was previously a Visigoth cathedral and at the very beginning a Roman temple.

One of the highlight of the cathedral is the Holy Grail. This is said to be the chalice used during the last supper by Jesus Christ.

The cathedral is joined by a bridge with another church; the iglesia de los Desamparados. It is a circular church.

large_Miquelete.JPG

El Miguelete or Micalet is the octagonal bell tower of the cathedral. It was built between the 14th and the 15th centuries in Gothic style.

They say you can enjoy a beautiful landscape over the city when you get to its top.

large_8fae29b0-a4c1-11e9-93f8-bfcdedcbc5fd.JPG

La Taberna de la Reina is a good place to have some tapas in the city center. This restaurant has a also a menu with a good choice of meat and fish dishes. You can find it at plaza de la Reina.

Here they have a good selection of tapas into a closed transparent box. The tapas they had when I was there are called "pinchos". They are made with a small slice of bread with a topping. You can choose a fried or not fried topping.

You have to help yourself your pinchos. You must keep the skewers that keep the bread and topping together. The waiter will count them to do your bill.

I tried several tapas and I liked them all. My favourite were with salmon topping. I liked those with tortilla de patatas (potatoes and eggs gateau) as well.

large_Bertal.JPG

Cafe Bertal is a chain of cafe-restaurants. There are six of these in Valencia. I visited Cafe Bertal at plaza de la Reina. It has a large dining room and a terrace on the square.

This cafe was created in the city in 1985 as ice cream parlour and orchateria. Today they serve sandwiches, pasta (noodles) and pizza, ice cream, coffee, pastries and some other food.

Their pizza was not large, but filling and soft. The pizza I liked most there wast pizza Marinara. This is a pizza with seafood.

large_6ff2d760-a4c1-11e9-93f8-bfcdedcbc5fd.JPG

La Lonja de la Seda was the silk exchange. It was built between 1482 and 1533. It is made of three rooms almost empty and a beautiful small walled garden.

large_Llonja.JPG

Here you can see the Sala de la Contrataciòn. It is the main hall of this building. This was the place where the merchants would meet, deal and sign. Then you can visit the Tribunal del Mar (a law court).

large_69899b20-a4c1-11e9-a129-4f969064dd99.JPG

The area I liked most at this place was the walled garden.

large_f6f06df0-975f-11e9-8483-6fb3761ce3aa.JPG

The central market (mercat central or mercado central) is one of the oldest food markets in Europe.

large_f26c1e50-975f-11e9-8483-6fb3761ce3aa.JPG

It was built in modernist style between 1910 and 1928. It is a very large structure made of glass and iron. In fact, it covers an area of over eighty thousand square metres. Here there are around 1500 stalls.

large_ee6d7970-975f-11e9-8483-6fb3761ce3aa.JPG

Here you can buy fruits and vegetables; meat and fish. Bread and sweets. There are also some stalls offering snails, eggs and dried fruits.

If you need something to drink or eat you can find some cafes inside the market.

This market is opened from monday to saturday; from 7.30 a. m. to 2.30 p. m.

large_8d2e0e80-a4c1-11e9-93f8-bfcdedcbc5fd.JPG

Plaza Redonda is a small square built in 1840. and restored in 2012.

Plaza Redonda literally means "round square". It is made of a good number of three curved storey joined together. This way the whole place is round.

It is traditionally known as "el clot" (the hole). Originally it housed a fish and meat market.

At plaza Redonda you can find several shops where you can buy a souvenir; or even a small pet. There are also some cafes and some stalls inside as well. On sundays this square becomes an open air market.

large_8c0286d0-a4c1-11e9-93f8-bfcdedcbc5fd.JPG

It is really worth to visit the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas . It dates from the 15th century and was rebuilt in 1740. Probably it is well known for its huge alabaster main door.

large_80b0e1f0-a4c1-11e9-93f8-bfcdedcbc5fd.JPG

large_8237f720-a4c1-11e9-93f8-bfcdedcbc5fd.JPG

Here you can visit a ceramic museum with a collection of pieces from prehistoric times to modern works. On the first floor you can see a large ball room, a dining room and lots of other rooms.

large_7a7a0050-a4c1-11e9-93f8-bfcdedcbc5fd.JPG

large_89beb150-a4c1-11e9-93f8-bfcdedcbc5fd.JPG

One of the highlights of this museum is a reconstructed typical Valencian kitchen made entirely of decorated tiles.

large_85d00680-a407-11e9-bc3e-b3df68b2b1dd.JPG

Another museum I visited in Valencia was the Museo de Bellas Artes. It is housed inside the Colegio de San Pio V. This palace was built between 1683 and 1744 for the formation of priests. Through the years it was used as military academy, military storehouse and a military hospital.

Here you can see a very large collection of paintings. There are masterpieces of Primitive Valencians (painters from the end of 14th century until the beginning of 16th century). There are also paintings made in more recent years.

This museum has sculptures and archaeological finds as well.

large_7e8d3320-a407-11e9-bc3e-b3df68b2b1dd.JPG

You can find a tourist bus in lots of cities. These are buses that stop near the main sights. So you can get off, see the sigh, explore the area and take another similar bus. It is a good way to get to know the place if you can' t spend much time there.

The Valencia tourist bus runs along two routes; A) The historical Valencia. B) The maritime Valencia. Each route lasts around 90 minutes each.

The bus stops near the main sights ( see; Museo de Bellas Artes, Bioparc...) You can change a route into another when you like.

These buses have a multilingual audio system. You will be given a pair of earphones to listen to some explanations about what you are passing by.

You can buy discounted tickets for some attractions in Valencia from the bus driver, as the Bioparc, the Oceanografic, the Hemisferic, P. Felipe Science Museum.

The tickets for the bus turistic are sold from the bus driver, at some hotels; from the tourist offices and also on line.

large_6bb7ecd0-a4c1-11e9-a129-4f969064dd99.JPG

I booked a twin room half board at hotel Olympia Events and Spa. We had a nice and modern room with bathroom (with tube) en suite. The beds were comfortable.

The breakfast and dinner at this hotel were buffet and there was a large choice of good food.

large_3122f570-a542-11e9-8857-dd6c328d13fc.JPG

large_8d2417c0-a653-11e9-a253-01b5c26a4b39.JPG

The hotel has all the amenities you like; a gym, a large swimming pool; a spa. You can ask at the hotel reception for various services; as massages, dancing courses and so on.

Olympia Events and Spa hotel is a very large four stars hotel located in Alboraya. This is a village easily reachable from Valencia by metro. There is a metro station not far from the hotel.

large_361ac760-a542-11e9-8857-dd6c328d13fc.JPG

Horchateria Daniel is said to be one of the best places to have an horchata. This is a white drink made from chufa; a kind of potato. It is served liquid or grounded and iced (granizada).

At Daniel' s you can have every beverages you can have in a ordinary cafe; ice creams and very good pastries.

I had at least eight kinds of pastries there. I liked almost every one and I haven' t a favourite one.

This cafe has two large rooms and two terraces. One outside and another on the roof.

There are many other things to see and do in Valencia; so I hope to re visit it quite soon.

Posted by Maurizioagos 09:22 Archived in Spain Tagged valencia. Comments (3)

Zoagli, Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino.

sunny

Several years ago I spent some days in Bergamo in order to attend the annual Euro VT meeting (see ex Virtual Tourist web site). I had some more days to spend somewhere after the meeting' s days,

I asked on Yahoo answers (see www.answers.yahoo.com) about a nice place not too far from Bergamo where I could spend some days. A member of that web site suggested a place named Zoagli.

I checked on the web about Zoagli and soon I decided it was the right place for me to spend some days.

large_f8186b60-a1a0-11e9-96c3-f7f6e1b6c95d.JPG

Zoagli is a nice sea side town located around 38 kilometers from Genova. It has a couple of beaches if my memory serves me well.

large_037078e0-a1a1-11e9-96c3-f7f6e1b6c95d.JPG

large_Zoagli.JPG

It' easy to travel to Zoagli by train. There is a small train station there.

I took a direct train from Genova Porta Principe train station; which is one of the train stations in this city. I was in Zoagli in one hour more or less.

I think there were several trains going from Genova to Zoagli every day. Zoagli is not an isolated place.

I booked a room at a simple hotel near the train station; Hotel Zoagli. Here they only serve breakfast.

I had a single room with bathroom with tube en suite. Fortunately it was on the back of the building so the trains running at night didn' t disturb much my sleeps.

Buffet breakfast consisted in cold cuts, cheese, eggs. Packed pastries. Bread, jam, honey, fruits. Yoghourts and cereals. You could help yourself from a machine to get American coffee and hot water to make tea. Milk, hot or cold was in a thermos.

This hotel has a communal room with television, a terrace and a cafe for customers.

large_048962f0-a1a1-11e9-96c3-f7f6e1b6c95d.JPG

Other than spending some time at the beaches in Zoagli you can have a stroll along its "passeggiate" (promenades). Zoagli has two of these. They are made of stones.

large_040d5520-a1a1-11e9-96c3-f7f6e1b6c95d.JPG

The oldest is the Passeggiata Canevaro. It was built in the 1930' s; mostly with the money from the inhabitants of Zoagli. At night it is lit. The other; the Passeggiata dei Naviganti was built in 2003.

Be careful of the sea waves when you are walking on these promenades. Sometimes these can be really strong!

large_f8293440-a1a0-11e9-a361-a9c95fb235aa.JPG

When I was in Zoagli I used to go at gelateria Simonetti' s to have two ice cream scoops around 5 or 6 p. m. This cafe was quite old and not nice, but the home made ice cream here was really good.

They had a good choice of ice creams flavours.

Once you bought your ice cream you can enjoy it at the main square. It is right under cafe Simonetti.

large_b88b02b0-a3ca-11e9-8a97-9bc17662ee22.JPG

I think the restaurants in Zoagli were quite expensive. The only budget place to have lunch or dinner here was Acqua e Farina. It is not far from the main square.

This is a small take away place where you can have slices of pizza and some other savoury snacks. Unfortunately there is only a table with some chairs if you like to eat something inside this place.

large_fe249380-a1a0-11e9-a361-a9c95fb235aa.JPG

There is a odd mansion situated some 700 meters from the center of Zoagli. It is Sem Benelli' s castle; well, it is a villa more than a castle.

large_f65c1560-a1a0-11e9-96c3-f7f6e1b6c95d.JPG

This villa was built in 1914. Sem Benelli its owner was a Tuscan writer. He was born in 1877 and died in 1949.

large_dc1d5560-a1a0-11e9-a361-a9c95fb235aa.JPG

Sem Benelli had to sell his mansion due to financial problems. I think this building houses several flats. I am not sure if part of it is opened to visitors.

large_f3be3900-a1a0-11e9-a925-c90ff6e9b842.JPG

I did two day trips from Zoagli. I visited Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino.

Santa Margherita Ligure is a large sea side town. You can go there by train from Zoagli. It only takes around ten minuts.

Santa Margherita Ligure has some peeble beaches, a large church; the basilica of Santa Margherita di Antiochia and a villa open to visitors. Villa Durazzo - Centurione.

large_f1b1c730-a1a0-11e9-a361-a9c95fb235aa.JPG

large_c8698a70-a1a0-11e9-a361-a9c95fb235aa.JPG

large_Case.JPG

large_4e645bb0-a1a0-11e9-a361-a9c95fb235aa.JPG

large_064d8120-a1a1-11e9-96c3-f7f6e1b6c95d.JPG

Villa Durazzo - Centurione was built in 1678 as a summer mansion. It is a complex which includes the main villa and two dependances.

large_05f723c0-a1a1-11e9-96c3-f7f6e1b6c95d.JPG

I spent lot of time exploring the park outside this buildings.

large_03524280-a1a1-11e9-a361-a9c95fb235aa.JPG

There are some residents at this park.

large_be5c9a90-a1a0-11e9-a361-a9c95fb235aa.JPG

If you are in Santa Margherita with kids, don' t miss this park; il Parco del Flauto Magico.

large_c6022760-a1a0-11e9-a361-a9c95fb235aa.JPG

The creations inside the park are based on the Mozart' s opera the magic flute.

large_bf29a6d0-a3ca-11e9-8a97-9bc17662ee22.JPG

My favourite restaurant in Santa Margherita Ligure was pasticceria Oneto. It is a coffehouse where you can have salads, sandwiches, piatti freddi (cold cuts or cheeses) and aperitives (drinks usually taken before a meal) with lots of nibbles, as chips, olives and small pieces of pizza.

large_f5ab3bf0-a1a0-11e9-96c3-f7f6e1b6c95d.JPG

Portofino is a little village by the sea. It is visited by lots of famous and rich people. The main sights of this village is a castle; Castello Brown; a couple of churches and the so-called la Piazzetta; a square surrounded by colorful and tall buildings.

large_f49dc390-a1a0-11e9-96c3-f7f6e1b6c95d.JPG

large_f3b92ff0-a1a0-11e9-a361-a9c95fb235aa.JPG

large_ee97dd00-a1a0-11e9-a361-a9c95fb235aa.JPG

large_ecf354c0-a1a0-11e9-a361-a9c95fb235aa.JPG

You can go to Portofino from Santa Margherita Ligure by direct bus. You can take it outside the train station, or at piazza Vittorio Veneto which is in the town center. I think the journey to Portofino took around 15 minutes.

As I read on the web you should take bus number 82 runs that runs every 15 minutes. It stops at piazza Martiri della Libertà  in Portofino. From this square you have to walk for some minutes and you are in the town center. Portofino is a small town.

large_cb714c30-a1a0-11e9-a361-a9c95fb235aa.JPG

The main square; la Piazzetta is a pedestrianized small square with various colourful buildings overlooking the harbour.

There are some tromp l' oeil decorated houses surrounding this square.

large_b63819c0-a1a0-11e9-a361-a9c95fb235aa.JPG

La Piazzetta is one of the few places included in the "locali storici d' Ialia" list (i. e. historical business places of Italy). This list includes many old shops, restaurants and cafes in Italy.

large_efaf8e90-a1a0-11e9-a361-a9c95fb235aa.JPG

Castle Brown is more a mansion than a castle. It was built on Roman foundations.

Around 1000 it was donated to the Benedictine monks of Saint Fruttuoso and was subsequently handed over to the consuls of Rapallo and in the 15th century to the Genovese. It was owned by the Visconti family of Milan between 1425 and 1435.

Castle Brown was restored at the beginning of the 1500 and enlarged between 1622 and 1624.

Montague Yeats Brown; an English consul in Genoa bought the property in 1867. His descendants held the property until 1949, then sold it to an English couple.

large_dc6de660-a1a0-11e9-a361-a9c95fb235aa.JPG

large_9d698b90-a1a0-11e9-a361-a9c95fb235aa.JPG

Castle Brown has lots of rooms to visit. Inside this mansion can see many black and white pictures of actors, politicians and several famous people who visited Portofino in the 1950-60' s.

large_d858ac40-a1a0-11e9-a361-a9c95fb235aa.JPG

The church overlooking Portofino is dedicated to Saint George. It was originally built in 1154. It was rebuilt in 1691. It was restored and enlarged in 1760.

During the WWII it was destroyed completely. It was rebuilt in 1950. This church contains the reputed to be the relics of Saint George.

It is a simple church inside. The only thing that attracted me of that church was its portal. I suppose it is very old.

Outside the church there is a lookout point from where you can enjoy a very good landscape over Portofino

Posted by Maurizioagos 09:34 Archived in Italy Tagged santa portofino margherita ligure zoagli liguria. Comments (4)

Ischia.

sunny

large_705f5020-9760-11e9-a679-d9fb60941c9e.JPG

Ischia is the biggest island in the Gulf of Naples. It is of vulcanic origins. This island is famous for its thermal parks and springs.

large_0ce0e270-9760-11e9-8483-6fb3761ce3aa.JPG

There are two nice beaches you shouldn' t miss on this island, if you like to lie in the sun. San Montano Bay and the Maronti Beach.

San Montano Bay is situated in Lacco Ameno. One side of this beach has free of charge entrance and the other is owned by The Negombo Thermal Gardens. There is an outdoor cafe on this beach.

large_901635a0-9760-11e9-9e96-9bed928762ec.JPG

The Maronti beach is the largest one on the island. It is around three kilometers long. There is a good choice of restaurants and cafes on this beach.

This beach is situated east of Sant' Angelo. You can go there by direct bus from Ischia Porto. Otherwise you can take a water taxi from Sant' Angelo.

large_Forio.JPG

Forio is a large town situated along the western coast of the island.

The main sights in Forio are il Torrione which is an ancient tower and the church of Soccorso.

large_2899e660-9760-11e9-8483-6fb3761ce3aa.JPG

Forio has a long main street lined with shops, some cafes and restaurants.

large_22c872c0-99d0-11e9-9724-9bae50c3386d.JPG

Torcanera is a shop located on a side street in Forio and precisely at via Erasmo di Lustro at n. 5.

Here you can find various kinds of typical drinks produced locally. For instance you can buy limoncello (a alcoolic drink made of lemons), wines and other alchoolic drinks.

At Torcanera they also sell cookies made with limoncello, herbal teas and beauty products as soaps, creams et al.

I think this shops is the right place to find some typical souvenirs from this island or something for yourself.

large_1c5ad440-9760-11e9-8483-6fb3761ce3aa.JPG

The church of Soccorso is located on a rock on the sea. It was built in the XVI century and enlarged until the XVIII century.

large_afae1f60-983a-11e9-b57f-e7ef13de8825.JPG

large_29342880-983a-11e9-b57f-e7ef13de8825.JPG

If you are in Forio, don' t miss La Mortella Gardens and the Poseidon Gardens. This is a spa complex with around 20 pools with thermal waters at various temperatures.

large_9ac7c9f0-9760-11e9-a679-d9fb60941c9e.JPG

La Mortella Gardens is a very large green area with more than 3000 species of exotic and rare plants. It was built By William Walton (an English composer) and his wife Susana on the site of a hillside quarry.

large_9723a120-9760-11e9-a679-d9fb60941c9e.JPG

large_96eb2c00-9760-11e9-8483-6fb3761ce3aa.JPG

This park is made of two areas; a lower garden (the valley) and un upper garden (the hill). The lower area was designed starting from 1956 by Russel Page; an architect. The upper one by Susana Walton from 1983. There is a lift to go to the upper garden.

large_889cc1e0-9760-11e9-9e96-9bed928762ec.JPG

large_7cbd34e0-9760-11e9-9e96-9bed928762ec.JPG

There are some nice spots here; as some oriental creations; a Thailandese pagoda and a oriental path; a lake with two fake alligators; a big aviary with lots of little birds and some conservatories.

large_7bafbc80-9760-11e9-8483-6fb3761ce3aa.JPG

large_75e61ba0-9760-11e9-a679-d9fb60941c9e.JPG

large_6999c310-9760-11e9-a679-d9fb60941c9e.JPG

Don' t skip the small theatre on the upper garden. Here you can watch a video about the history of the gardens and see several memorabilia owned by William Walton.

large_175f4e40-99d0-11e9-9724-9bae50c3386d.JPG

Among the facilities into these gardens there is a cafe where you can have a light meal, a shop and the toilets.

large_8dd85390-9760-11e9-9e96-9bed928762ec.JPG

Ischia is the main town on the island. It is divided in two areas; Ischia Porto and Ischia Ponte.

large_3e152ae0-9760-11e9-8483-6fb3761ce3aa.JPG

Ischia Porto is the area where you find lots of shops, restaurants and the harbour ( "porto" means harbour). Ischia Ponte is the old core of this town.

You should go to Ischia Ponte in order to visit the Aragonese Castle. This is one of the highlights of this island.

large_34420fb0-9760-11e9-8483-6fb3761ce3aa.JPG

The Aragonese Castle is a fortress which stands on a small rocky island connected to the island by a bridge.

It was originally an old fort built in the 44 B. C. Over the centuries this fortress was was occupied by the Parthenopeans (the ancient Neapolitans), by the Romans, by the Visigoths and by other people.

The fortress you see today dates back to the 1500.

large_31eea9d0-9760-11e9-8483-6fb3761ce3aa.JPG

The castle reached its golden age at the end of the XVI century when it hosted 1892 families; a nunnery, the bishop, various religious orders; the prince and his garrison. There were 13 churches at that time into the fortress.

large_08896f30-9760-11e9-8483-6fb3761ce3aa.JPG

There are lots of buildings into the fortress. Here you can visit various churches and the ruined cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption with a crypt with the remains of an older chapel with some frescoes. This chapel dates back to the eleventh and twelfth centuries.

There is a cafe-restaurant, a restaurant and even a hotel inside the castle.

large_99dccdb0-9760-11e9-a679-d9fb60941c9e.JPG

Sant' Angelo is a nice village located on the southern coast of Ischia.

large_99077c50-9760-11e9-9e96-9bed928762ec.JPG

large_945c43c0-9760-11e9-9e96-9bed928762ec.JPG

large_8c642a20-9760-11e9-9e96-9bed928762ec.JPG

large_8e092790-9760-11e9-9e96-9bed928762ec.JPG

San' t Angelo was built partly on a hill; so if you like to explore it properly you should climb several steps.

large_b26417a0-983a-11e9-b039-d1f604534d1c.JPG

large_96a21510-9760-11e9-8483-6fb3761ce3aa.JPG

This village has some beaches, various shops and a good choice of restaurants and cafes.

large_14732ad0-99d0-11e9-9724-9bae50c3386d.JPG

There is a good pasticceria (confectionery) in Sant Angelo. Its name is Dolce E' La Vita. I only had some ice creams there. I liked them very much.

You can go to Sant Angelo by bus. Once there you have to walk for some minutes in order to go to the center of this village.

large_1b806f40-99d0-11e9-9724-9bae50c3386d.JPG

There are several water springs on this island. One of these is the Olmitello spring. It is located some meters far from the Maronti beach.

The healing qualities of this water are known since the ancient times.

large_21a4b340-99d0-11e9-9724-9bae50c3386d.JPG

The more important studies about them were made by the professor Giulio Gasolino in 1588. He wrote about the healing properties of this water which is said it should be good for the stomach, eyes, arthritis and for other diseases.

I went to Ischia by hydrofoil. This boat was operated by Alilauro company. I took it at molo ( = harbour) Beverello in Naples. The journey to Ischia took around 45 minutes. The hydrofoil arrived at Ischia Porto. Then I took a bus from there to Panza; where I had booked a room.

Panza is a village which is part of Forio.

Molo Beverello is easily reachable from the train station in Naples by bus or by taxi (ask the driver the price to get there beforehand!)

Hydrofoils can carry only passengers. You can go to this island also by ferries. These carry also cars.

On the island there are three harbours; Ischia (also called Ischia Porto), Casamicciola Terme and Forio. It is very important to know exactly what village you are going to on Ischia. Not every boats stops at the same harbour.

Posted by Maurizioagos 08:34 Archived in Italy Tagged sant ischia castello aragonese forio. angelo. Comments (6)

Salzburg.

Salzburg is a city in central Austria near the German border. It is the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791). This city is linked with the Sound of Music; a movie shot in various locations in Salzburg and its sourrondings.

I visited Salzburg around two years ago. I visited the main sights in the city, but I am sure there are many other things to see there.

In this post I will write about some things not to miss in the city.

large_Getreidegasse.JPG

The Getreidegasse is a long pedestrian street in the old town. It is bordered by lots of shops, cafes and restaurants. At number 9 on this street Mozart was born in 1756. He lived here until he was seventeen.

large_f0e9cdc0-9372-11e9-8535-c7911eb5bc75.JPG

The iron wrought signs hanging on the walls of the buildings is a peculiarity on this street. The reason for these signs is that long ago people wasn' t able to read, so they could see from them what they were selling at the shops there.

large_7e4cd4b0-9372-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

There is a Mc Cafe at the Getreidegasse. It is part of Mc Donald' s. It is a coffee shop where you can have a cup of coffee or cappuccino or a cake at a moderate price.

large_8b0b7710-9372-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

Here you can also have a good choice of cakes to chose from. At Mc Cafe they also have a kind of package offer. The times I was there it was a large cup of cappuccino and a piece of cake with cream with a topping of strawberries or peaches.

I liked the strawberries cake with cream (i. e. Erdbeer Butter Milk Schnitte). also had a taste of a chocolate cake (my mother chose it) . It was not a piece of Sacher cake, but it was really good.

large_Corte.JPG

There are several arcades on the Getreidegasse. Walking through them you will discover some beautiful courtyards with cafes and shops.

large_bca07d20-9372-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

A nice courtyard.

large_b8369350-9372-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

Another courtyard.

large_7621eb40-9372-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

Christmas in Salzburg is a shop where you can find a lots of Christmas and Easter decorations all year.

Here there are decorations for other events and festivities as well; as Halloween for instance.

large_6f6e1170-9372-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

Here they sell mostly hand painted emptied eggs. These are really nicely decorated and they are sold at various prices. I think the cheapest ones should cost around four or five euros.

This shop is quite large. It is made of two rooms if my memory serves me well. It is forbidden to take pictures inside this shop. I don' t know why.

large_9846c380-9372-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

The Alter Markt is a large square not far from Getreidegasse. Here you see a big fountain; the Saint Florian' s fountain.

large_00d741e0-9373-11e9-8535-c7911eb5bc75.JPG

Several old buildings surround this square. One of them is the smallest house in Salzburg (see picture). It was built between 1830 and 1860. On the same side of this house there is the popular Cafè Tomaselli.

On the other side of the square a tall pale green palace houses a old pharmacy. It was founded in 1591.

There are some beautiful shops at Alter Markt as well.

large_Kapitelplatz.JPG

Kapitelplatz (chapter square) is a large square situated near the cathedral and below the castle.

large_fa5bb620-9372-11e9-8535-c7911eb5bc75.JPG

One of its main features is a huge sculpture of a golden ball with a man on the top called Sphaera. Near this sculpture there is a large chess board where you can play. On this square there is a fountain built in 1732 on the site of an old horse pond.

Usually there are some stalls at Kapitelplats. At one of these you can buy pretzels of various flavours.

large_cc17d6e0-9372-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

The cathedral. Saint Rupert founded the church in 774 on the ruins of a Roman construction. In 767 the bishop Virgil built another church on this site. He might have used the foundations by saint Rupert to construct it. In 842 the church burned down after being struck by a lightning.

large_e8e11250-9372-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

They started to rebuild the cathedral after three years. Between 1000 and 1147 the church was extended and modified . In 1167 it was on fire again. It was rebuilt 10 years later. 400 years later another fire destroyed large sections of the cathedral.

In the seventeenth century it was completely rebuilt in the Baroque style. The dome was damaged during World War II but was restored in 1959.

large_e8e46db0-9372-11e9-8535-c7911eb5bc75.JPG

large_168a5f40-9373-11e9-8535-c7911eb5bc75.JPG

The only museum I visited in Salzburg was the toy museum. is housed in a old alms house; the Buergerspital; built between 1556 and 1570.

large_0790c100-9373-11e9-8535-c7911eb5bc75.JPG

Here you can see a good number of old toys; dolls, miniature trains and cars; table games, puppets and more.

large_0374a910-9373-11e9-8535-c7911eb5bc75.JPG

large_4104bce0-9443-11e9-a5fe-d34c5dfb6fd7.JPG

large_3ac66130-9443-11e9-a5fe-d34c5dfb6fd7.JPG

large_000fac20-9373-11e9-8535-c7911eb5bc75.JPG

There is even a couple of rooms, maybe more, where kids can play with toys they find there. Adults can have a cup of tea for free in a room while their kids are playing.

Sometimes events are organized at this museum. I visited it around Halloween and a kind of Halloween party was going on.

Every tuesday and wednesday a puppet show is held at this museum.

large_f39e8d80-9372-11e9-8535-c7911eb5bc75.JPG

I visited Saint Peter' s abbey and the cemetery. Saint Rupert (again!) founded this church and its monastery around 700. The church and the buildings were destroyed by a fire in 1127. The church was rebuilt from 1130 to 1143. It was modified through the years.

The church you see today was built from about 1130 onwards. The interior was refurbished in the Rococo style from 1760 to 1782.

large_9ea4b520-9372-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

large_Cimitero.JPG

Near the church you see the Peterfriedhof. This is the oldest cemetery in Salzburg. Its origins probably date back to around 700 It was possibly built on the site of an earlier burial place.

Into the Festunberg; the mountain that overlooks the cemetery there are some catacombs. I didn' t visited any.

large_cbb8ee00-9372-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

Some famous people who lived in the city are buried at the Peterfriedhof. Here you can find the graves of Santino Solari; Michael Haydn; composer and younger brother of Joseph Haydn. Anna Maria Mozart was also buried here. She was the elder sister of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

large_0e4d4d60-9373-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

The Mirabell gardens were laid out from 1687. They were altered in 1730 and changed again in the 19th century. These are made of various areas with several attractions as the Zwerglgarten (i. e.dwarfs garden). This garden is made of a series of stone dwarfs statues. They are 17, but long ago they may have been 28. They were modelled on real life persons. Besides these statues the gardens house an orangery and various statues.

large_10ba7cd0-9373-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

large_11ce84e0-9373-11e9-8535-c7911eb5bc75.JPG

large_f7b28f20-9372-11e9-8535-c7911eb5bc75.JPG

The Mirabell Palace was originallly named Altenau. It was built for prince archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Ratenau and for his mistress Salomè Alt in 1606.

The palace was renamed Mirabel by von Raitenau' s successor Markus Sittikus von Hohenems.

Prince archbishop Franz Anton von Harrach had the palace remodelled extensively from 1721 to 1727. In 1818 the palace was heavily damaged by a fire.

Today Mirabell Palace houses the office of Salzburg' s mayor and the municipal offices.

large_e25a3bf0-9372-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

large_ca0cc4a0-9372-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

One of the main sights of Salzburg is the Hohensalzburg fortress.

It is possible there was a Roman fortress on the site of this citadel. Yes, Hohensalzburg fortress is a kind of little village on a hill. The first buildings on its site were built by prince archbishop Eberhard in 1077. The fortress was enlarged between 1495 and 1519.

large_cff1b5b0-9372-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

large_ed619160-9372-11e9-8535-c7911eb5bc75.JPG

large_01aa7060-9373-11e9-8535-c7911eb5bc75.JPG

large_0bca9a20-9373-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

This fortress houses some museums. One of them is a museum of marionettes. I liked it very much and I spent a lot of time there. There is also a museum with a collection of weapons and a museum with various things.

Another highlight of this fortress are the state apartments dated to 1500. Inside this citadel there is also a small church and a couple of chapels.

Inside the fortress area there are a couple of restaurants and a souvenirs shop.

The fortress also serves as a venue for evening concerts.

large_0d2e21c0-9373-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

large_0fb45770-9373-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

large_1904ae10-9373-11e9-8535-c7911eb5bc75.JPG

Inside the state apartments.

large_96b3c770-9372-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

Elaborated door into the state apartments

large_94369270-9372-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

large_1379c3e0-9373-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

View from the fortress.

large_15507fb0-9373-11e9-8535-c7911eb5bc75.JPG

It was a pity the day I visited the fortress was not fine, but the views from there are stunning even if it is not sunny.

large_8ee57cf0-9372-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

I spent five nights at hotel Haunspergerhof. It is a nice three stars hotel situated in Haunspergstraße at n. 30. It takes around fifteen minutes from the train station to get there.

The twin room they gave me was simply furnished and large enough for two people. It had the bathroom with tube en suite; a television, but it didn' t have a fridge.

large_65352f90-9372-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

The breakfast was buffet style. It consisted of various kinds of bread, jam, butter and a kind of pastry. There were also cold cuts, cheeses and eggs. Moreover there was yoghurts and some fruit. Hot beverages, as coffee and hot milk and hot water for tea were in thermos flasks.

This hotel has a communal room which is part of the reception area. Wi fi was free of charge there.

Il Padrino is the closest restaurant to hotel Hanspergerhof, so it was convenient for me to have dinner there. This restaurant has two dining rooms and an outside area.

At Il Padrino they have a menu with many of Italian dishes. They serve pasta dishes and various kinds of pizza. I had some kind of pizzas here and I liked them much.

It is advisable to book your seat at this restaurants. It seems lots of local people likes this place very much.

I hope to return to Salzburg quite soon.

Posted by Maurizioagos 00:49 Archived in Austria Comments (2)

Rome.

Rome is the capital of Italy and the largest city in this country.

There are lots of sights to enjoy in this city. Here you can see ancient ruins, churches (there should be around 900 of them!), palaces, museums et al.

I have visited Rome many times, but I still haven' t seen some things.

I will show you some things to see in Rome in this post.

large_1eb95f20-8aa6-11e9-8bf1-d3fb61490881.JPG

One of the landmark in Rome is the Colosseum. It was originally known as Flavian Amphiteatre. The Colosseum was built on the site of an artificial lake belonged to Nero Domus Area' s gardens.

Its building was begun under emperor Vespasian in 72 A. D. It was inaugurated by Titus in 80 A. D. and completed by his brother Domitian in 82 A. D.

From second half of the VI century this amphitheater was used for other purposes than a stadium.

In the XIII century, the Frangipans (a family) built their fortress here. In 1750 pope Benedict XIV transformed it into a place where to commemorate the Christian martyrs. Moreover it was plundered to build other constructions in Rome.

large_21899620-8aa6-11e9-8bf1-d3fb61490881.JPG

This stadium is 188 per 150 meters large and has 80 arches used as entrances. So that people could enter or exit in a few minutes. It could hold up to 80.000 spectators.

Various games were held inside the Colosseum. For instance; fights between gladiators and fights between men and exotic animals. Most of the gladiators were slaves or prisoners of war. Even dramas and executions were held inside this stadium.

Sometimes the Colosseum was flooded for mock sea battles.

Entry to the Colosseum was free for all Roman citizens, but they were seated according to rank.

large_Foro.JPG

The Roman forum was the political, economical and religious center of Rome during the republic. Originally this site was a marsh. It was also used as cemetery. The Romans drained the area and built several temples and other buildings there.

The forum was later abandoned and filled in by a thick layer of earth, becoming a pasture known as Campus Vaccinus. Some temples were turned into churches.

large_3490f470-8aa6-11e9-8bf1-d3fb61490881.JPG

large_34231770-8aa6-11e9-8bf1-d3fb61490881.JPG

There are several ruins you can find in the forum.

The regia was the residence of the kings. The curia; the meeting place of the senate. The rostra was used as a tribune for orators.

There are some temples at the forum, as the temple of Antonio and Faustina It was built in 141 A. D. by Antonius Pius in honor to his late wife Faustina. It was turned into the church of Saint Lorenzo in Miranda in the middle age.

There are two triumphal arches at the forum; the arch of Titus and the arch of Septimus Severus.

Once you visited the Forum you can walk up to the Palatine. This is a hill overlooking the Roman forum.

large_Palatino.JPG

The Palatine was where Rome began as a village; supposedly founded by Romulus in the 8th century B. C. It was a residential district for the wealthy and aristocratic people in Roman time; as well as a number of emperors.

large_3c27b430-8aa6-11e9-8bf1-d3fb61490881.JPG

On this hill you can spend some time at the Orti Farnesiani. These gardens were built over the ruins of Tiberio' s palace in the XVI century by the cardinal Alessandro Farnese; pope Paolo III' s nephew. Their construction was finished in the XVII century.

On the Palatine you can visit some buildings; as Livia' s house (there are frescoes inside), but you must book a guided tour.

large_46735ac0-8aa6-11e9-888a-0b1a1eefb3a2.JPG

large_539308e0-8aa6-11e9-888a-0b1a1eefb3a2.JPG

I recommend to take a good book with you or rent an audioguide to visit these sites; in order to know what you will see.

large_Cordonata.JPG

The Capitoline hill. In ancient Roman times there were various temples on this hill. There was the tabularium (the public Roman archive) and the mint of the Republican age as well.

Piazza del Campidoglio (Capitol square) is situated on the top of this hill. Michelangelo was commissioned to create this square in 1536, but much of the work on this square was done in the 17th century.

Michelangelo designed the new facades for the two buildings; Palazzo Senatorio and palazzo dei Conservatori and a new palace; Palazzo Nuovo.

In the center of the square is a statue of emperor Marcus Aurelius. It is a replica.

Palazzo Senatorio houses the office of the mayor of Rome. Palazzo dei Conservatori and Palazzo Nuovo are used as museums. There are mostly ancient statues there.

You have to climb a long stairway to go up to piazza del Campidoglio; the Cordonata. This was designed by Michelangelo as well. At its top there are two big statues of Castor and Pollux.

large_5282aa50-8aa6-11e9-888a-0b1a1eefb3a2.JPG

The Pantheon is a well preserved Roman temple turned into a church. Originally it was built by Augustus' son in law Marcus Vespasianus Agrippa in 27 B. C. Between 118 and 125 A. D. it was completely rebuilt by Hadrian. It was dedicated to all the gods.

After other restorations it fell in a state of neglect until 608, when it was given by emperor Phocas to pope Boniface VIII who transformed it into the church of Saint Mary and Marthyrs.

large_4a7cd510-8aa6-11e9-888a-0b1a1eefb3a2.JPG

large_639febe0-8aa6-11e9-8bf1-d3fb61490881.JPG

The Pantheon is 43 meters both in diameter and in height. The only source of light inside this building is a hole on its dome.

It is the resting place of several important Italians.

large_5e1547b0-8a15-11e9-b26b-4ba3ce8b28e7.jpg

Piazza di Spagna. This square takes its name from the Spanish embassy of the Holy See (of the Vatican) that was located here.

large_CIMG6194.JPG

Piazza di Spagna is known for the Scalinata della Trinità  dei Monti (the Spanish Steps). This long staircase was built between 1721 and 1725. It links the square with the square where the church of Trinità  dei Monti is situated.

At the bottom of the stairs there is a fountain called "la Barcaccia". It was designed by Pietro Bernini and his son, Gian Lorenzo.

large_28b11950-8aa6-11e9-8bf1-d3fb61490881.JPG

Piazza Navona was built on the site of the Domitian stadium. Here athletic games named "agones", chariot races and other sports were held. Since the 17th century until mid 19th century it was partially flooded for mock naval battles (naumachias).

This square also served as a marketplace from 1477 to 1869.

large_28570be0-8f5b-11e9-91de-9d56c5cd860e.jpg

There are three beautiful fountains here. One of these is the fountain of the Four Rivers. It was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and was built by some of his pupils in 1651.

large_2a9f0010-8f5b-11e9-91de-9d56c5cd860e.JPG

The huge statues part of this fountain represent the four rivers known at that time. The Gange, the Danube, the Nile and the Rio de la Plata. The other fountains are; the Fountain of the Moor and the Fountain of the Neptune.

In piazza Navona there are two churches; the church of Saint Agnese in Agone and the church of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. This square is surrounded by several restaurants, cafes and shops. A Christmas market is held every year here.

large_5589a0a0-8a15-11e9-b26b-4ba3ce8b28e7.jpg

There are several viewpoints in Rome. This city was built on seven hills. One of the viewpoints is situated on the Pincian Hill. This hill overlooks piazza del Popolo. To get there you have to climb the flight of stairs you see and you will arrive up to this hill; at piazzale Napoleone. From this large square you will enjoy a very beautiful view of the city.

The Pincian hill is not one of the seven hills. It is part of Villa Borghese (a park). This site was a favourite site by the ancient Romans who built villas and gardens here. The name Pincius comes from one of the families that settled here; the Pincii.

large_51d3eba0-8a15-11e9-b26b-4ba3ce8b28e7.jpg

This hill was laid out between 1809 and 1814 by the architect Giuseppe Valadier.

large_ce8f4100-8ad6-11e9-8c40-97f344bcd371.JPG

The Trevi fountain. This large fountain was designed by Nicola Salvi from an earlier plan by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, but it was completed by Giuseppe Pannini in 1762.

The central figure of the fountain is Neptune; the god of the sea. He rides a shell shaped chariot drawn by two sea horses. One of these is calm and the other one wild. They simbolize the fluctuating moods of the sea. To the sides of the fountain are statues of abundance and salubrity.

This fountain is situated at the end of an aqueduct built in 19 B. C. and it lies where three roads intersect. Hence the name; Trevi (tre vie means "three roads" in Italian)

A legend says that if you throw a coin into this fountain, over your left shoulder you' ll come back to Rome.

large_91c8d2d0-8ad7-11e9-8c40-97f344bcd371.JPG

large_3195af40-8f5b-11e9-91de-9d56c5cd860e.JPG

Saint Ignatius church. This church was built between 1626 and 1685. It is dedicated to Saint Ignatius of Loyola; the founder of the Jesuite order.

large_2f7c1e10-8f5b-11e9-91de-9d56c5cd860e.JPG

This was the second church on this spot. Its main highlight is the troemp l' oeil frescoes painted in 1685 by Andrea Pozzo. One of these is on the ceiling of the nave. It depicts the entry of Ignatius into paradise. The other fresco is a fake dome on canvases which was meant to be a temporary work. This was painted due to the lack of funds. To appreciate the troemp l' oeil effect of these works there are two yellow spots on the floor where you have to stand on.

large_168b8f80-8aa6-11e9-8bf1-d3fb61490881.JPG

Campo de Fiori is a nice square with some cafes, restaurants and shops. Every morning, until 1. 30 p.m. a food market is held here. There are also clothes on sale here.

large_1a163ce0-8aa6-11e9-8bf1-d3fb61490881.JPG

According to a legend, the name of this square derives from Flora; a woman loved by Pompeo, or maybe because there was a field of flowers in XV century in this area. Campo de' Fiori (in Romanesque dialect) means literally field of flowers.

The big statue you see in the center of the square represents Giordano Bruno. He was a philosopher burnt at stake for heresy in the 1600.

large_Piazzetta.JPG

There are some nice spots in Rome!

large_2fe2fcc0-8aa6-11e9-8bf1-d3fb61490881.JPG

..and also lots fountains!

large_4d0f67e0-912a-11e9-a288-05d7ca98de92.JPG

There are many statues too.

large_6477fc60-8aa6-11e9-8bf1-d3fb61490881.JPG

Trastevere is a district in Rome on the west bank of the Tiber. Its name derives from the Latin word "trans Tiberim" that means beyond the Tiber.

large_62f728c0-8aa6-11e9-888a-0b1a1eefb3a2.JPG

Here there are some churches to visit. Be sure not to miss Santa Maria in Trastevere church and its ancient mosaics. You could also visit Santa Cecilia and San Crisogono churches.

large_6eba7310-8a15-11e9-b26b-4ba3ce8b28e7.jpg

Another thing to do in Trastevere is to get lost and enjoy this beautiful neighborhood.

There are lots of restaurants, cafes and various shops in Trastevere.

large_58f2c460-8aa6-11e9-888a-0b1a1eefb3a2.JPG

Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the curches you can visit in this area.

It is said it was Saint Callistus who founded a church where this church is located; in 22 A. D. The church was rebuilt in the IV century. It was enlarged in the IX century. Then it was rebuilt in the XII century and modified between 1550

large_6702c1b0-9053-11e9-a550-070a7293d516.JPG

Inside you can see various beautiful mosaics. The ones on the apse were made in the XII century. Below them are mosaics scenes depicting the life of the Virgin. These date back to 1291.

The facade of the church is decorated with 12th - 13th century mosaics.

There is an old pharmacy in the Trastevere area; the Farmacia della Scala. It was opened to the public (for the popes; their families and for wealthy people) in 1700.

This pharmacy is not far from Santa Maria in Trastevere church. It is housed into the same building of the Farmacia della Scala (the new pharmacy).

It is quite difficult to visit this old pharmacy. First you have to convince the priest who lives there to let you in ... If you' ll succeed, you will be offered a guided tour of the place.

large_07d90c60-8aa6-11e9-8bf1-d3fb61490881.JPG

I discovered L' Insalata Ricca restaurant by change. I was looking for my favourite restaurant; Tosca. Unfortunately they closed it down. It was located next door to L' Insalata Ricca.

This restaurant has three dining rooms where around 150 people can be seated. It has several outside chairs and tables to use if the weather is fine.

large_09fcfdd0-8aa6-11e9-8bf1-d3fb61490881.JPG

Here several kind of salads are served; in large bowls. If you don' t fancy a salad for lunch or dinner you can have pasta (noodles), other kinds of first courses and several meat dishes.

L' Insalata Ricca is a chain of restaurants. These are located in several areas of Rome. I had lunch twice at the one in largo dei Chiavari.

large_7c88dd90-9372-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

Habana Cafe is a restaurant, but also a place where you can listen to live music at night.

I discovered this restaurant after having checked the prices of the restaurants near the Pantheon. I thought the prices in that area were quite high.

large_04dfc990-8aa6-11e9-8bf1-d3fb61490881.JPG

At Habana Cafe there are three kinds of menu at fixed price. For instance; you can have an appetizer ( salad, or cold cuts for instance), a first course and a drink for 10 euros only. If you order "a la carte" you won' t spend much.

There is a dining room inside this restaurant and a outdoor area where to stay if the weather is fine.

large_2046d660-8f5b-11e9-91de-9d56c5cd860e.JPG

There is a castle in Rome; Castel Sant' Angelo.

It was built around 123 d. C. as a tomb for emperor Adrian and his successors. It was completed by Antoninus Pius in 139.

The name Castel Sant Angelo comes from the legend of Saint Gregorio Magno who had a vision of an angel appearing on the fortress, and announcing the end of the plague.

large_22a42750-8f5b-11e9-91de-9d56c5cd860e.JPG

large_c8504910-8ad6-11e9-8c40-97f344bcd371.JPG

In the fifth century the castle was converted into a fortress and incorporated into the city defensive walls. During the middle ages it was occupied by many noble families.

In 1377 it came under full papal control.

In the XIVth century, pope Nicholas III linked the castle with a covered passageway to the Vatican; the so called passetto di Borgo. So the popes could seek refuge in the castle if the Vatican was besieged. From the late 1400 the papal apartments were built inside the castle. Castel Sant Angelo was also used as a prison and execution place.

large_58e1fab0-8ad6-11e9-9f26-bb0fe9587727.JPG

large_5706ab00-8ad6-11e9-9f26-bb0fe9587727.JPG

large_60a9dc90-8ad6-11e9-9f26-bb0fe9587727.JPG

large_7146ca90-8ad6-11e9-9f26-bb0fe9587727.JPG

The castle is made of five levels. On the forth you can visit some papal rooms. There are some nice covered passages around the castle where you can enjoy some beautiful views over the city and rest a bit.

There are some facilities inside the castle; as a cafe restaurants, the toilets and a lift for disabled people.

large_5a68e9a0-8aa6-11e9-888a-0b1a1eefb3a2.JPG

Saint Peter' s basilica is located on the site where Saint Peter was buried between 64 and 68 A. D.

The current church was built from 1506 to 1626 due to the bad state of the previous one. Several artists worked on this church as Bramante, Raffaello, Michelangelo and Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

large_6ba71c70-9053-11e9-a550-070a7293d516.JPG

It is a huge church; (218 per 133.30 meters) and full of beautiful works of art. The basilica has 45 altars and 11 chapels.

large_635b68d0-8aa6-11e9-888a-0b1a1eefb3a2.JPG

large_82bed650-8ad6-11e9-9f26-bb0fe9587727.JPG

One of its highlights is Michelangelo' s Pietà . It is located in the first chapel on the right. He sculpted it when he was 25. Another main sight is Bernini' s canopy. It is situated over the papal altar.

Once you visited the church you can climb to the top of the dome (cupola). It was designed by Michelangelo in 1547 but it was finished by his pupil; Giacomo della Porta, after Michelangelo' s death. From the top of the dome you can see a great landscape of Rome.

Before entering the basilica you see a very large square. It was designed by Bernini and built between 1656 and 1667. It is a elliptical esplanade bordered by four rows of columns topped with 96 statues of saints.

This church is located in Città  del Vaticano. It is a small country inside Rome.

large_6ef20520-8ad6-11e9-9f26-bb0fe9587727.JPG

At the crossroad between via XX Settembre and via delle Quattro Fontane you can see four large fountains. These were commissioned by pope Sisto V between 1588 and 1593.

large_6ad83720-8ad6-11e9-9f26-bb0fe9587727.JPG

Two of these are carved with two bearded men and should represent the rivers Arno and the Tiber. The other two fountains perhaps represent faith and force. Here you see two statues of the goddesses Diana and Juno.

These fountains were restored several times. I think the last time of their restoration was in 2015.

large_351e7b40-9034-11e9-8554-059626b85a1a.JPG

Don' t miss the church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane. It is also called San Carlino; due to its small size (ino in Italian is used as a diminutive for nouns)

They say this little church would stay inside a pillar you see in Saint Peter' s Square. This church takes its name from the four fountains that stand nearby.

This church was Francesco Borromini' s last work. His nephew completed it in 1667, due to Borromini' s death. It was incorporated in the convent of the Spanish Trinitarians who commissioned the work.

Unfortunately I visited this church late in the evening, so it was quite dark inside and I couldn' t take some decent pics.

large_6ff0fb20-9053-11e9-a550-070a7293d516.JPG

Another church you should visit is the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.

According to a legend; in august 352 A. D. a wealthy man and pope Liberius had a similar dream about the Virgin who told them to build a church where they would have found snow in Rome. The next day Liberius spotted snow on the top of the Esquiline hill. Soon he made a church built there.

A re enactment of the snow fall is held every year on august 5 inside the Paolina chapel with a fall of flowers petals.

This church was rebuilt between 432 and 440. It was modified and enlarged in the XIII century.

large_51b26130-8ad6-11e9-9f26-bb0fe9587727.JPG

large_4e267b50-8ad6-11e9-9f26-bb0fe9587727.JPG

Inside you can see a series of mosaics lining the nave and covering the triumphal arch before the altar that date back to the 5th century. There are mosaics in the apse that date to the XIII century as well. The ceiling dates from the 16th century. It is said to be gilded in gold that was bought from America by Columbus. Inside the church there is Bernini' s tomb.

Another thing not to miss in this church is the cappella Sistina. This stunning chapel was commissioned by pope Sisto V in 1587 as his burial place.

large_12370270-8aa6-11e9-8bf1-d3fb61490881.JPG

Hotel Domus Praetoria is a hotel i like much. It occupies part of an old palace. I think it is made of 16 rooms.

large_10a0f920-8aa6-11e9-8bf1-d3fb61490881.JPG

Last time I booked a room at Domus Praetoria I had a twin room with bathroom en suite. It had a tiny balcony. My bed was comfortable and the furniture simple.

My room was on the backside of the hotel; so it was quiet. A daily market just ouside of the entrance of the hotel is scheduled except on sunday. It starts very early in the morning.

large_0366be20-8aa6-11e9-8bf1-d3fb61490881.JPG

Breakfast consisted in fresh pastries and bread. Jam, yoghourt, cereals, cold cuts and orange juice.

Hot beverages as coffee, cappuccino and hot chocolate were served by a girl at our table.

The reception at Domus Praetoria is open 24 hours on 24. The personnel at this hotel was very kind and helpful. Wi fi was complimentary.

large_7de5e480-905c-11e9-b4c8-69f716d7f01c.JPG

Termini station is the main train station in Rome. It was built on two levels. The station has lots of facilities, as luggage storage, a police station, a tourist office, a post office, ATMs and a disability office.

At Termini train station you can take a train to lots of destinations in Italy and abroad as well.

large_0e4f40f0-8aa6-11e9-8bf1-d3fb61490881.JPG

There are various restaurants (one of my favourites as well; Gusto), cafes and shops inside this station.

Just outside the Termini train station there is the major bus terminus.

large_7cd733a0-905c-11e9-b4c8-69f716d7f01c.JPG

Gusto is a self service restaurant inside Termini train station. Here you can find a good choice of first courses; as pasta, rice and soups; some second courses and vegetables. Appetizers as cold cuts are available as well. There is a good selection of desserts too.

large_77b339a0-9372-11e9-a055-27228e27156a.JPG

At Gusto there is a menu of the day offer. You can have a first and a second course with some vegetables for 10.90 euros (2014 price).

large_7aaf35c0-8a15-11e9-b26b-4ba3ce8b28e7.jpg

You can do several day trips from Rome. For instance you can go to Orvieto (in the Umbria region) and to Tivoli.

In Tivoli you can visit Villa d' Este.

This villa was commissioned by Ippolito d' Este; son of Lucrezia Borgia in the late 1500. It is listed as UNESCO world heritage site.

large_82b691a0-8a15-11e9-8b88-6735e5bd3926.jpg

large_875bfdd0-8a15-11e9-8b88-6735e5bd3926.jpg

large_8b501b60-8a15-11e9-8b88-6735e5bd3926.jpg

large_90215280-8a15-11e9-8b88-6735e5bd3926.jpg

large_9212e950-8a15-11e9-8b88-6735e5bd3926.jpg

large_925cc390-8a15-11e9-8b88-6735e5bd3926.jpg

Its interiors are decorated with beautiful frescoes, but this mansion is mostly known for its beautiful gardens. These have five hundred fountains, built in various shapes. Some of these are activated during the day.

There are several notice boards with some historical information about the fountains.

Inside Villa d' Este there is a room where you can watch a video about the villa and the gardens before your visit.

Other facilities here are the toilets, a self service cafe and a museum shop.

You can go to Tivoli by direct bus from the bus station Ponte Mammolo. Take the metro and get off at Ponte Mammolo metro station.

Posted by Maurizioagos 10:31 Archived in Italy Tagged villa rome tivoli este. d' Comments (10)

Vodnjan and Pula.

large_33e76bd0-8d08-11e9-8461-f916566e67fa.JPG

Vodnjan is a large village worth a visit. It is around ten kilometers far from from Pula. The journey from Porec to Vodnjan by bus should takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Vodnjan is famous for the mummies. In fact its main church; Saint Blaise church houses some mummified corpses and part of bodies of saints.

These saints failed to decompose throught the centuries for unknown reasons. This church also has a quite large museum with lots of saints' relics and various religious artifacts.

large_3d41fba0-8d08-11e9-8461-f916566e67fa.JPG

large_42d6d0e0-8d08-11e9-8461-f916566e67fa.JPG

large_437f45e0-8d08-11e9-8461-f916566e67fa.JPG

This village has a beautiful main square with a reddish city hall built in 1911 and a maze of very old cobbled streets.

large_46fa89f0-8d08-11e9-8461-f916566e67fa.JPG

Unfortunately the day I visited Vodnjan the weather was not fine. I enjoyed this village anyway.

large_61751647_10157096562612332_4678023433286582272_n.jpg

Pula is the largest town in Istria. It is located at the southern tip of the peninsula. It is well known for its Roman monuments.

Here you can see a huge amphitheater constructed between 27 B. C. and 68 A. D. Picture courtesy of Margaret van Nierop from NL.

large_1538a480-8d29-11e9-854b-3b9143ead8ba.JPG

There are some Roman arches in Pula. This is the arch of the Sergii. It dates to the 1th century A. C. It is located at the beginning of a street named Sergievaca.

large_42b07150-8ec2-11e9-8391-d18ea20d7879.JPG

This beautiful Roman mosaic is hidden into a modern building, but it is not far from the Sergievaca.

large_1c6b7250-8d29-11e9-854b-3b9143ead8ba.JPG

This is Pula' s town hall.

large_fb102a40-8f5a-11e9-91de-9d56c5cd860e.JPG

A mermaid on the town hall?

large_1d0dccd0-8d29-11e9-854b-3b9143ead8ba.JPG

This the temple of Augustus. It was built between 2 B. C. and 14 A. C.

large_26730b00-8d29-11e9-854b-3b9143ead8ba.JPG

This church is the chapel of Saint Mary Formosa. It was part of a Benedictine monastery together with another chapel.

Pula is a good place for shopaholics. It has great choice of shops.

You can do a day trip from Porec to Pula. The journey from Porec to Pula by bus should last around 1.30 hours.

Posted by Maurizioagos 09:34 Archived in Croatia Tagged pula vodnjan porec. Comments (2)

Porec and Rovinj.

large_Porec.JPG

Porec is a town on the west coast of the Istrian peninsula; in Croatia.

large_723a10a0-89d8-11e9-8dee-d1ed077c22b3.JPG

large_76bc43f0-8a05-11e9-b95f-b93f7e237065.JPG

large_79719960-89d8-11e9-8dee-d1ed077c22b3.JPG

large_b06067c0-8939-11e9-9674-31fdf80b9a2c.JPG

The main street in Porec; Dekumanska ulica was also the main road during Roman times. It runs from east to west through the center of the old town.

large_62aa4ce0-89d8-11e9-8dee-d1ed077c22b3.JPG

It is a car free street with lots of shops and several cafes.

At the beginning of Dekumanska ulica you see a pentagonal tower. It dates back to the 1447. It is used as a venue for art exibitions.On this street you shouldn' t miss a Gothic palace built in the XV century and the museum inside Sincic Palace (XVIII century). Unfortunately it was closed last time I visited Porec.

large_ad3fede0-8939-11e9-9674-31fdf80b9a2c.JPG

The Euphrasian basilica is the main sight in Porec.

The basilica is the third church that was built on this site between the 4th and the 6th century. The first church was dedicated to Saint Maurus and dated back to the second half of the 4th century.

The present church was built by bishop Euphrasius in the 6th century.

large_a9fe7e80-8939-11e9-9674-31fdf80b9a2c.JPG

Inside you can admire several mosaics around the apse. They depict Christ with the Apostles. The Virgin and Jesus child; twelve female saints. Saints Maurus, saint Euphrasius and other saints.

large_f0265a50-8938-11e9-9674-31fdf80b9a2c.JPG

The church is part of a complex that includes a courtyard, the baptistery, the bell tower, and the bishop palace. This palace was built in the 6th century and houses a collections of religious artefacts.

Under the palace various mosaics and Roman remains are stored.

large_f2c6a7b0-8938-11e9-9674-31fdf80b9a2c.JPG

large_f5b1b9b0-8938-11e9-9674-31fdf80b9a2c.JPG

The complex also includes what remains of the previous churches; a large floor mosaic of the first one and various stone walls.

large_01a60730-8939-11e9-9674-31fdf80b9a2c.JPG

Landscape from the bell tower.

large_fb036b70-8938-11e9-9674-31fdf80b9a2c.JPG

The so - called Romanesque house is a simple stone building. It was built in the 13th century and restored various times through the centuries. Until the end of XXII it was part of a palace destroyed during the war.

I have read it should house a museum and an exposition hall, I suppose this could be on the first floor. Unfortunately I found it always closed.

On the basement floor there is a souvenir shop is my memory serves me well.

large_54c9fe60-894a-11e9-8d50-91808c077c34.JPG

The tourist train runs through a wood. While travelling you can see part of Porec from afar, lot of vegetation, some beaches and hotels.

It stops at three places; Brolo, Plava Laguna and Zelena Laguna. The journey takes around 35 minutes (one way).

This train departs from the edge of the wood Naftaplin; near the Marina. I think it operates from april until september. You can buy your ticket from the driver.

large_731fc080-893a-11e9-8d0c-6dbb917e7e0d.JPG

Hotel Porec is a good budget hotel. I have been there some times. It is situated some meters from the bus station.

I was always given a nice room with bathroom en suite.

The hotel has a two common areas where you can sit to relax after a long walk or after a day trip.

large_611be4b0-89d8-11e9-8dee-d1ed077c22b3.JPG

The breakfast was buffet style and there was a good choice of food. Bread, cheese, ham, eggs, fruits and other things. You could get coffee and cappuccino from a machine. These were quite good.

The dinner isn' t buffet style when there aren' t many guests at the hotel. Anyway I liked much the food I had.

large_35aa8660-89d8-11e9-8dee-d1ed077c22b3.JPG

Pizzeria -restaurant Nono is my favourite restaurant in Porec. It serves a good choice of pizzas, pasta, gnocchi (dumplings) and second courses, as fish or meat dishes.

Here they serve two sizes of pizzas. The small and the medium one. The small pizza is quite large; the medium one is extremely large.

large_Rovigno.JPG

Rovinj is a picturesque town some kilometers far from Porec. Its old core is located on a peninsula that was once an island. It is a popular tourist resort with plenty of accomodations, restaurants, cafes and shops.

There are daily buses from Porec to Rovinj and vice versa. Unfortunately on sundays less buses operate than the other days.

Rovinj is overlooked by the cathedral of Saint Euphemia; built in 1736 and located on the highest point of the town.

large_7dd2f7b0-89d8-11e9-8dee-d1ed077c22b3.JPG

large_cb1f15a0-8c38-11e9-8c9a-55d67cc8ee26.jpg

Rovinj' s main street. Carera ulica.

large_49644f90-893a-11e9-9674-31fdf80b9a2c.JPG

The basilica of Saint Euphemia is a Baroque church built in 1736 over the remains of older churches.

Saint Euphemia is Rovinj' s patron saint. Its relics are preserved in a sarcophagus behind the church' s main altar (on the right).

large_b74d7a00-8939-11e9-9674-31fdf80b9a2c.JPG

Eufemia was a young girl who lived in Chalcedon, in Asia Minor, and was devoted to Christianity. She didn' t want to give it up, so she was captured, tortured and thrown to lions who killed her but didn ' t eat her. Her body was kept in a sarcophagus in Constantinople until 800 A. D. 

The legend say that this sarcophagus with the saint' s remains floated on the seas all the way until Rovinj, where a small boy with the help of two cows managed to get the sarcophagus up the hill.

large_91f42ab0-8939-11e9-9674-31fdf80b9a2c.JPG

After the visit to the church you can go up the bell tower to enjoy the landscape over the town. The bell tower resembles Saint Mark's in Venice.

large_56987010-893a-11e9-9674-31fdf80b9a2c.JPG

Another thing to do in Rovinj besides a visit to Saint Euphemia church and to a couple of museums (which I didn' t visit...) is taking a stroll along the narrow cobbled streets of the old town.

large_50ba35c0-893a-11e9-9674-31fdf80b9a2c.JPG

large_454ea040-893a-11e9-9674-31fdf80b9a2c.JPG

The streets in the old core are lined with lots of tall houses. Some are restored and other are dilapidated. In the old core there is a good choice of shops, restaurants and cafes.

large_95561a60-8939-11e9-9674-31fdf80b9a2c.JPG

large_92fb1360-8939-11e9-9674-31fdf80b9a2c.JPG

large_b97bcbb0-8939-11e9-9674-31fdf80b9a2c.JPG

Strolling in the old core you will almost surely get to the Grisia ulica. This is the street that runs from the Balbi arch to Saint Euphemia church. It is a long street lined with lots of shops and art galleries.

large_2f98d230-8d08-11e9-8461-f916566e67fa.JPG

In this picture you see my mother on Grisia street.

large_61bd9370-894a-11e9-8d50-91808c077c34.JPG

The local outdoor market is not far from Tito trg; Rovinj's main square. It is in operation every day; even on sundays, in the morning.

large_6273c410-894a-11e9-bdae-75444e561977.JPG

large_5f1c82c0-894a-11e9-8d50-91808c077c34.JPG

Here you can find fruit, vegetables, typical spirits and honey. There is a spot where they sell souvenirs as well. I have read somewhere on the web that fish and meat are sold at some shops bordering the market.

So if you have to prepare your meal or if you like to buy some fruit or something else; this is a place to visit.

large_50c7d710-894a-11e9-8d50-91808c077c34.JPG

If you are not very hungry or it is too hot to have lunch; you could have a good ice cream. I did it twice in Rovinj. Both times I went to bar Sport. It is a cafe where you can have some good scoops of ice cream.

At bar Sport they have various ice cream flavours to choose from.

Posted by Maurizioagos 04:05 Archived in Croatia Tagged rovinj porec istria. Comments (0)

The Algarve.

The Algarve is the southern most region of Portugal.

I visited this region twice. The first time I booked a room in Faro. The second time I visited the Algarve it was for a meeting of a (ex) travel web site; Virtual Tourist.

The base chosen for this meeting was Albufeira. The meeting included a trip to Cabo San Vicente, Sagres (to see the fortress) and Silves.

large_EA29D508E21B68EDA1B2748248EAC2E3.jpg

Faro is the capital of the Algarve and the largest city in this region. It has a nice old core and some pleasant areas.

Vila Adentro is the old core of Faro. This large area is enclosed by walls. Here you can visit the cathedral, the monastery of Nossa S. ra da Assuncao, the Palacio Episcopal and many streets bordered by white buildings.

Inside Vila Adentro there are also some cafes and a shop where you can buy books, postcards and souvenirs.

large_90_Faro_2.jpg

large_e940d630-8527-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.jpg

The cathedral was built in the 13th century on the site of a mosque. It was largely damaged during the 1755 earthquake.

large_1c524310-8528-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.jpg

large_21dc1bd0-8528-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.jpg

large_1e92bd30-8528-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.jpg

The Museu Municipal is housed inside the Monasterio de Nossa S. ra da Assuncao. This dates from the 16th century.

Here you can see various archaelogical finds as a large Roman mosaic showing Oceanus, god of the sea. This museum also houses a collection of ancient paintings dated from the XVI to the XIX centuries.

The monastery has a nice two storey cloister with a shrub maze at the center.

large_07bf3bb0-8528-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.jpg

large_23dfb400-8528-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.jpg

large_ff3b35c0-8527-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.jpg

large_Bachalau_a..enha__Faro_.jpg

Unfortunately I didn' t find a restaurant where I had a very good lunch or dinner in Faro. Adega Nortenha was one of the best places to have dinner.

The restaurant is a very simple place and the food was good. At Adega Nortenha they serve various kinds of fish and meat dishes.

There is only a dining room here, but it can accomodate several people.

large_1fffec40-85ed-11e9-9a4c-4b2c0cbd266b.JPG

Gardy is a cafe-restaurant located in the modern area of Faro. It was founded in 1953.

At Gardy' s they have a large selections of pastries, cakes and ice creams. Here you can also have a menu of the day, several kinds of sandwiches and other things. I usualy wento to Gardy' s to have a ice cream.

This confectionery has two dining rooms if my memory serves me well. There is an ouside area there as well.

large_12782300-8528-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.jpg

The only downside of this cafe is that they close it quite early in the evening.

large_dd7c9960-8527-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.jpg

Alte is a nice village in inland Algarve. It is some 35 kilometers far from Faro. It has lots of cafes and restaurants.

large_e039bd90-8527-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.jpg

large_d824a610-8527-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.jpg

You can go to Alte by bus from Faro, but first you have to go to Loulè. Then you have to take another bus. Unfortunately in the summer there are few buses operating in the afternoon. So I' d recommend to vist Alte in the morning.

large_086b5a30-8528-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.jpg

Estoi is a white village some 11 kilometers far from Faro. It is well known for its palace and for the Roman ruins of Milreu. These ruins are made of various buildings, but there aren' t many mosaics.

large_f377bc40-8527-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.jpg

large_13d764e0-8528-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.jpg

Estoi has a nice main square with a church and a couple of cafes.

large_2d03ca80-8528-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.jpg

Tavira is a nice town divided in two areas by the river Gilao. This is crossed by three bridges. One of these is of Roman origin and was reconstructed in the 17th century. The town has lots of churches, cafes and shops.

large_2bd4c060-8528-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.jpg

large_2c972600-8528-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.jpg

large_27e02da0-8528-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.jpg

large_26f383b0-8528-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.jpg

I didn' t stay much in Tavira; perhaps three hours. Anyway I enjoyed its 13th castle. Its walls are well preserved and there is a nice garden inside. The castle has also some towers. I climbed to the top of most of these to enjoy the landscape over the town and some private gardens.

large_b7bcc770-8524-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.JPG

Albufeira is a cliffside town that once was a fishing village. Today it is a holidays resort with lots of beaches. It is situated 39 km far from Faro.

Its name comes from the Arabic "Al buhera" which means; castle on the sea.

large_947a4a30-8524-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.JPG

I liked very much the old center in Albufeira with whitewashed houses and narrow streets. This town has a large main square with cafes, restaurants and a pedestrian street full of shops; rua 5 de Outubro. Here you also find the tourist office.

large_Panorama__Albufeira.jpg

large_CIMG6353.jpg

There are lots of restaurants in Albufeira.

large_90_CIMG6346.jpg

large_Casa.jpg

large_Insalata_a..__Albufeira.jpg

Cantinho dos Estudiantes is a cafe - restaurant where I usually had breakfast and dinner. It was a convenient place for me because my room was nearby.

The menu here included pancakes, crepes, salads, hamburgers; American, English and French breakfasts.

large_74c16290-893a-11e9-8d0c-6dbb917e7e0d.JPG

I booked a room for five nights at Vila Emilia; in Albufeira. It was a simple twin room with bathroom en suite. It had a small fridge and a television. There was no wi fi.

Vila Emilia is practically a group of buildings used as rooms. The rooms at Vila Emilia are cleaned every day, except on sundays and festivities.

large_578f11d0-894a-11e9-8d50-91808c077c34.JPG

Outside the rooms there is a nice courtyard with several chairs and tables.

Note. You have to check in at Vila Branca hotel...https://vilabranca.com.pt/; then somebody will take you to your room. Vila Branca is some 150 meters far from Vila Emilia.

Vila Emilia is a bit uphill from the old town, but it is only fifteen minutes from there; by foot. There is a small supermarket and a cafe (Cantinho dos Estudiantes) nearby.

large_1aec54f0-85ed-11e9-9a4c-4b2c0cbd266b.JPG

Fumos and Mitos is quite a large shop where you can find various things to buy. It is situated in the modern area of Albufeira.

Here they sell cigars, cigarettes and alcooholic drinks. At Fumos and Mitos there is a good choice of Porto wine bottles and other kinds of wines.

large_18bfff10-85ed-11e9-9a4c-4b2c0cbd266b.JPG

Other items you can buy at Fumos and Mitos are; postcards, stamps and books; I saw several very nice photo books over the Algarve here. Here they have candies and ice creams as well.

large_f261e6d0-8524-11e9-b16f-ebbcb969b4cf.JPG

One of the reasons why people go to Albufeira; as in other places in the Algarve is to spend some time on the beaches. There are around 25 beaches in Albufeira and nearby.

large_f0460bb0-8524-11e9-b6ba-c5541c2974b6.JPG

Praia do Peneco (reachable through a tunnel) and Praia des Pescadores are the beaches closer to the city center. Other beaches are; Praia da Oura; at three kilometers from Albufeira. Praia Da Gala; at six kilometers from Albufeira old center and Praia de Santa Eulalia, which is around four kilometers from Albufeira.

large_Giro__Albufeira_.jpg

The bus station in Albufeira is situated around a couple of kilometers from the old core.

Inside there are some shops where you can find magazines, newspapers and souvenirs. There is a cafe and other facilities as the toilettes and an ATM machines.

You can take a taxi or a bus (the "Giro" buses) to go the the center of Albufeira.

The Giro buses go from the bus station to several places in Albufeira and its neighbours. For instance you can take a bus to Santa Eulalia, Oura, Ferreira and also to the Albufeira train station. Most of the Giro buses operate every 30 minutes. Tickets are sold by the driver.

large_C__de_Monchique.jpg

Caldas de Monchique is a little spa town located in a narrow gorge some kilometers far from Portimao. It is known since the Roman times for its sulphurus waters. They are said to be good for rheumatism, respiratory and digestive problems.

large_Caldas_de_Monchique_2.jpg

Here there is a nice park which is part of a wood where there are paths, several stone chairs, tables and running water.

large_Caldas_de_Monchique_3.jpg

large_Caldas_de_Monchique_5.jpg

large_Calds_de_Monchique_4.jpg

large_Caldas_de_..ue__pic_nic.jpg

large_24cf9cc0-85ed-11e9-9a4c-4b2c0cbd266b.JPG

Caldas de Monchique has some cafes, restaurants and three or four hotels.

It is here that the famous mineral water gets bottled.

large_ecb85110-8524-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.JPG

Silves is a beautiful town situated on a hill.

It was settled by Phoenicians; then it became a Roman city (Sibilis). From the 8th century it was names Xelb; it was a Moorish city.

large_f0718880-8524-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.JPG

large_ed8034f0-8524-11e9-b6ba-c5541c2974b6.JPG

Silves is overlooked by a very large castle. It was built between the 8th and the 13th centuries by the Arabs; probably on the site of a late Roman or Visigothic fortifications from the 4th - 5th centuries.

large_ebda4d20-8524-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.JPG

large_df965900-8524-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.JPG

The castle once had walls that encircled the town. It has eleven towers. Inside there is a small museum, a cafe and a beautiful garden.

large_eb9729a0-8524-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.JPG

Silves has a cathedral; built in the 13th century on the site of a mosque. It was destroyed by the earthquake of 1755 and later reconstructed. I didn' t visit it, probably because it was closed around lunch time.

large_Sagres.JPG

Cape Saint Vincent; the most south westernly point in Europe. It takes its name from saint Vincent; a priest martyred by the Romans. Centuries ago it was thought as the end of the world. Here it is where Henry the Navigator is believed to have set up his school of navigation in the fifteen century.

I enjoyed much the high cliffs and the ocean when I visited Cape Saint Vincent.

large_cbf4b680-8524-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.JPG

At Cape Saint Vincent you can see a lighthouse built in1846. It is said it is one of the most powerful in Europe.

large_c95330a0-8524-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.JPG

large_c65b4d60-8524-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.JPG

large_9d0750d0-8524-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.JPG

After your visit to this place you can head to the Fortaleza de Sagres. This fortress was originally built in the 15th century and rebuilt in 1793. It was restored in the mid 20th century. It is a very large fortress.

large_c2417800-8527-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.JPG

There is a nice church inside; the church of Nossa Senhora da Graca that dates from 1579. It replaced the original church of Dom Henrique of 1459.

large_Fortezza_di_Sagres.jpg

I had a long stroll into the fortress not realizing my companions (Virtual Tourist members) were waiting for me on the bus. I was in the Algarve for a VT meeting that time I visited the fortress, Cabo San Vincente and Silves.

large_2fbdc420-8559-11e9-bbc1-9f201e8be4c0.JPG

Cataplana is both the name of a dish and a pan.

large_Cataplana.jpg

It is shaped like two clam shells hinged at one end. Traditionally it was made of copper. It is thought it was introduced in the country by the Moors.

You can buy a cataplana in the Algarve. They are quite expensive.

Cataplana as food is a slow cooked stew of fish, seafood, chorizo (a kind of salami) and vegetables. Here the food is put inside raw and is let simmer after having clamped the saucepan.

large_e7b5c960-8527-11e9-8651-6fa9e7d18ce2.jpg

In the Algarve you will surely notice the ornamental chimneys on the roof of the houses. It is said that the builders use to ask the customers how many days they wanted their chimneys building last. So that they could calculate the cost of the chimney they were about to make that was based on the time that this would take to build.

These chimneys have cylindrical, prismatic, rectangular or square shapes. Some houses have four or five of them. Usually only one is functional.

Posted by Maurizioagos 09:20 Archived in Portugal Tagged the virtual algarve faro sagres alte albufeira tavira estoi silves tourist.com Comments (0)

Some day trips from Lisbon.

You can do several day trip from Lisbon; even without a car. For instance you could head to Cascàis, to Sintra and to many other towns and villages.

I' d also recommend a visit to the palace of Queluz. I re visited it some years ago.

large_caebd640-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

The national palace of Queluz was begun in 1747 on order by king Pedro III and completed in 1787. It was originally a hunting lodge.

large_Queluz__sala_della_musica.jpg

large_b5e28d70-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

Inside this palace you can visit the Throne Room, the Music Room; the Ambassadors Room and many other smaller rooms. There is even a chapel.

large_c84fcea0-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

Once you visited the palace you can spend some time to explore its gardens.

large_c0e30510-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

large_b9c9b2b0-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

One wing of the palace is used as a residence for foreign head of state visiting Portugal.

The palace is seat of many concerts and exibitions.

large_7679f290-81e8-11e9-9c3e-f9244c90c3c5.JPG

Cascais is a small town on the Atlantic coast, located some 30 km west of Lisbon. Once it was a fishing village. Today it is a famous tourist resort.

One of the attractions of Cascais is the Palace of Castro Guimarães. It was built in 1902. It is opened to visitors.

The Igreja Matriz (the main church) has some paintings by Josefa de Obidos. Unfortunately I couldn' t see them, because the church was closed when I visited Cascais..

If you happen to find the church and the palace closed you could rest on one of the beaches of the town, have a good lunch at a restaurant and do some shopping. There are lots of shops in Cascais!

large_23536c40-8238-11e9-b88b-bbd6dcd3bb0a.jpg

large_520e3d10-8555-11e9-bbc1-9f201e8be4c0.jpg

large_Cascais.JPG

large_d5be2010-8237-11e9-b88b-bbd6dcd3bb0a.jpg

The Palace of the Counts of Castro Guimarães. It is opened to visitors.

large_d0601240-8237-11e9-b88b-bbd6dcd3bb0a.jpg

large_5052c6e0-8554-11e9-8c30-d78a84928662.jpg

A fountain near the palace.

large_ee3eb550-8237-11e9-b88b-bbd6dcd3bb0a.jpg

The palace is surround by a large park. The Parque Marechal Carmona.

large_548944a0-8554-11e9-8c30-d78a84928662.jpg

A beautiful boy who lived at the park.

large_f13bc8b0-8237-11e9-b88b-bbd6dcd3bb0a.jpg

Dom Pedro I is my favourite restaurant in Cascais. It is a small reastaurant situated just some meters from the town hall. It is well hidden in a narrow street, but you will easily find it.

At Dom Pedro I you can sample various typical Portuguese dishes. They also have a menu at a fixed price which includes soup, a main dish, a dessert, a drink and a coffee.

It has only a small dining room and a small outdoor area where you can have your meal if the weather is fine.

large_f6125a30-823b-11e9-98f7-939430077557.JPG

large_C7F4ED270B13D05466EBCF35823185B6.jpg

Casa da Guia is a beautiful shopping center on the road that connects Cascais to the Guincho beach. It is a restored 19th century house. There are around 20 shops inside. Here you can buy furniture, clothes, some souvenirs, flowers and other things.

large_C7F98C3E9744F34C50021E2DEDF1736D.jpg

In its gardens you can find some kiosks, restaurants and cafes. Casa da Guia is also a place to rest having a meal or a drink.

I went there by foot from the center of Cascais and it was a long walk. So; I' d recommend to take a taxi or a bus to get there.

large_Sintra__Miradouro_.jpg

Sintra is a hilltop village made by three areas. Estefania; the modern area; with the train and the bus stations. Sintra-Vila; with the Royal Palace. Sao Pedro; located at some kilometers from Sintra-Vila.

large_Paco_Naci_na__Sintra_.jpg

large_0fab8830-8238-11e9-b88b-bbd6dcd3bb0a.jpg

large_872702D608C4C42BF778490B140A955D.jpg

large_79ecab20-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

large_5ffe7710-8554-11e9-8c30-d78a84928662.jpg

large_71e3f530-8555-11e9-bbc1-9f201e8be4c0.JPG

Sintra National Palace. This palace served as a summer residence for the Portuguese kings since the early 14th century. Probably it has Moorish origin. What you see today mostly consists of the buildings ordered by king Joao I (around 1415) and by king Manuel I (1497 and 1530).

large_72b914f0-8554-11e9-8c30-d78a84928662.JPG

Inside you can see various rooms and a chapel. Some rooms opened to visitors are; Sala dos Cisnes (= swans). It has the ceiling divided into panels decorated with swans. Sala das Pegas (= magpies) and Sala dos Brasoes, with a domed ceiling decorated with 72 coats of arms of the king and noble families.

You can spot the palace from afar because it has two huge white chimneys.

large_Artnis.jpg

Artnis is quite a large shop where you can find a good choice of home textils and various other items.

Here you can find table cloths, napkins, dish cloths, bath towels, aprons, soaps and other things. At Arnis they also sell clothes and accessories for small children.

large_2c28dd90-8559-11e9-bbc1-9f201e8be4c0.JPG

This is a fine shop to look for some presents to take home.

I' ve read that Artnis is "Sintra" written in reverse order. I don' t know if the proprietors of this shop thought about it when they choose a name for it.

large_174a8550-8238-11e9-b88b-bbd6dcd3bb0a.jpg

Quinta da Regaleira is a estate built between 1904 and 1910. It was designed by an Italian architect; Luigi Manini for a wealthy Brazilian merchant; Antonio Augusto Carvalho Monteiro.

The palace has five floors. Here you can visit the kitchen, and several rooms. You can visit the palace with a guided tour or by yourself.

large_1d0001f0-8238-11e9-b88b-bbd6dcd3bb0a.jpg

Here you can visit a palace, built in neo-Manueline style, a chapel built in 1904 and a very beautiful garden with several fountains, grottoes, turrets and two artificial lakes.

large_220408e0-8238-11e9-b88b-bbd6dcd3bb0a.jpg

large_658a2490-8554-11e9-8c30-d78a84928662.jpg

There is a nice sculptures museum in Sintra; The museum Anjos Teixeira. It is housed inside a former watermill built at the beginning of the XX century.

If you are interested in sculpture you should visit this museum. Here you can see a large collection of sculptures made by two local artists named Anjos Teixeira (Pedro Augusto dos Anjos Teixeira; the father and Arturo Gaspar dos Anjos Teixeira; the son). Besides the sculptures here you can see lots of drawings and plaster studies.

large_large_0b8759f0-8238-11e9-b88b-bbd6dcd3bb0annnn.jpg

Palacio da Pena is a palace situated quite far from the center of Sintra.

large_fc4da570-8237-11e9-b88b-bbd6dcd3bb0a.jpg

This palace is a mixture of Arab minarets, towers and domes. It was built between 1840 and 1850.

Prince of Baviera D. Fernando of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, husband of D. Maria II ordered it to be build on the site of the ruins of the monastery of Our Lady of Pena.

large_063b2670-8238-11e9-b88b-bbd6dcd3bb0a.jpg

Inside the palace you can see a large ball room, the kitchen and several rooms.

The palace has been painted yellow and pink in the 90' s. These were its original colours.

It is quite expensive to visit the palace, but there are some discounts if you buy a special ticket that entitles you to visit this palace and also the national palace, and maybe some other attractions in Sintra.

A note; don' t leave Sintra without having tried some queijadas! The queijada is one of the two typical pastries of Sintra (the other is travesseiro).

The queijadas are made of a thin pastry case filled with a mixture of cheese, flour, sugar, egg yolk and cinnamon. Queijadas are sold at some other shops and cafes in Sintra.

Its recipe dates back to the 13th or 14th century. It seems that in the middle ages they were used to pay part of the fixed rent of landed properties in the Sintra area.

Some notes about the buses in Sintra.

Bus n. 434 takes a circular route from Sintra to various attractions in the area; including the National Palace, the Moorish Castle and the Pena Palace.

Bus 435 stops near the Museo do Brinquedo and the National Palace (Sintra Vila) then goes to Quinta da Regaleira; to the Palace of Seteais and to Montserrate.

These buses depart from a bus stop near the train station. Tickets can be bought from the driver.

Note; if you have to go only to Sintra Vila, where the National Palace is; take n. 435 bus. You will only pay some cents. Tickets for bus n. 434 costs lots more. I suppose around 5 or 6 euros per person.

Posted by Maurizioagos 01:18 Archived in Portugal Tagged sintra cascais queluz. Comments (6)

Lisbon.

Lisbon is a large city situated on seven hills; like Rome. It is the capital of Portugal.

It is not possible to write about all the things to see in this city in a single post. In fact, there are lots of things to see in Lisbon.

I have visited this city several times, but I have still to see some things here.

large_94f7bbd0-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

Rossio is one of the main squares in Lisbon. Its official name is "praca Dom Pedro IV". Long ago it was the site of a cattle market, a public execution place, a bullfight arena and a carnival ground.

In the middle of this square a tall column with a statue of king Pedro IV is located. This square is surrounded by the Dona Maria II National Theatre, by various cafes, shops and some restaurants.

large_02007910-822f-11e9-bf0a-b33a1c17926e.jpg

Rua das Portas De Santo Antao is a pedestrian street near Rossio where you find a good choice of restaurants, some guesthouses, several shops and a small bar where you can have a glass of ginjinha.

Ginjinha is a drink made by infusing sour cherries in alcohol; adding sugar and other ingredients. Ginjinha is a typical drink in Lisbon, Alcobaca and Obidos. I am sorry but I haven' t any picture of this street.

large_0b8d5d30-8163-11e9-99a7-831f136236e2.JPG

Confeitaria Nacional is a cafe and a confectionery, but it is also a restaurant. It was founded in the XIX century.

The cafe is on the ground floor. The restaurant is on the first floor.

The restaurant is divided in two areas; one of these is a self service. The other area is a restaurant. There is no need to say that you will spend less if you order your food at the self service area.

At Confeitaria Nacional they usually serve two menus of the day.

large_Tram_28_.jpg

Tram n. 28 is a yellow vintage tram. It departs from praca Martin Moniz to the Graca and Alfama districts. Then it heads to the cathedral and the church of Saint Anthony. It carries on to the Baixa (the lower area of the city) and goes to the Chiado and the Barrio Alto districts. Its last stop is at Campo Ourique station.

The tram stops near lots of main sights. Its entire route lasts around 45 minutes. You can make use of it as a budget hop-on hop-off bus.

large_Elevador_de_S__Justa_.jpg

The Santa Justa lift (elevador in Portuguese) was designed by an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel and was opened in 1902.

This lift connects Baixa (the lower city) to the Bairro Alto (the upper city) by a passageway. It has two cabins (one to gou up and another to go down) which can house 24 people each.

At the top of this lift there is a platform with a cafe. From here you can enjoy a beautiful landscape over the Rossio, the Tagurs river, the castle and some other areas of the city.

large_b1062ff0-822e-11e9-bf0a-b33a1c17926e.jpg

Wiev from the top of the Santa Justa lift.

large_b45497a0-822e-11e9-bf0a-b33a1c17926e.jpg

Another wiev from the top of the lift.

large_54d287b0-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

The miradouros are vantage points. These are mostly gardens that are usually located at the highest points of the city. From these you can enjoy beautiful views over the city. There is a cafe at some of them.

large_Miradouro_de_S__Luzia_.jpg

large_d5dfef00-822e-11e9-bf0a-b33a1c17926e.jpg

large_59be72c0-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

large_60314bf0-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

Here's a list of some miradouros.

Miradouro das Portas do Sol. From here you can have a good view over the Alfama' s rooftops.

Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara. You will have a great view of the castle for this lookout point.

Miradouro de Santa Luzia. From here you can have views over the Alfama' s rooftops, over the Tagus river and the dome of the National Pantheon.

Miradouro de Santa Catarina. From here you can have a good view over the 28 de Abril bridge.

large_Largo_do_Carmo_nnnnn.jpg

large_c5042340-822e-11e9-bf0a-b33a1c17926e.jpg

Leitaria Academica is one of my favourite restaurants in Lisbon.

On a window of this restaurant you can read a small list with the names of the food available that day. Almost every dish includes some vegetables.

Everytime I visited this restaurant the food I had was good and the personnel (I think they are a family) really kind.

Leitaria Academica is a small restaurant, but there are some tables outside; on the Largo do Carmo. This is a nice and large square near the entrance of the Carmo monastery. See the previous two pictures.

I liked very much their bacalau (cod fish) with nata and lasagna with salmon.

large_977ae440-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

Saint Vicente de Fora monastery.

This church (and its monastery) was located outside the city walls. De Fora means "0n the outside". It was dedicated to Saint Vincent of Saragossa; the patron saint of Lisbon.

large_9a480e00-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

The construction of the present church started in 1582 and was completed in 1629. It was built on the site of a previous church that had been built around 1147. The monastery was finished in the XVIII century.

There is a very rich collections of azulejos inside the monastery.

Into the monk's old refectory is housed the pantheon of the king and queens of the Braganca dinasty. They ruled from 1670 to 1910.

large_Alfama_.jpg

Alfama is one of Lisbon' s oldest area. It was founded by the Arabs. They named it Al hama could mean springs or bath. It survived the 1755 earthquake. This district stretches between Saint George castle and the banks of the Tagus river.

large_Alfama_2_.jpg

Have a stroll here and you' ll see some small squares; a maze of narrow streets, various staircases, whitewashed houses, restaurants, cafes and shops. It feels like being in a village inside the city when you are at Alfama.

large_da604700-822e-11e9-bf0a-b33a1c17926e.jpg

Belém is a district of Lisbon. It is located six kilometers from the city center. It was the starting point for many discovery voyages. For instance it was from here that Vasco da Gama embarked on his voyage from Portugal to India in 1497.

One of ithe main sights in Belém is the Jeronimos monastery (1502-1551); a huge white building with a magnificient carved portal and a large two-storeys cloister.

large_d85c87c0-822e-11e9-bf0a-b33a1c17926e.jpg

The construction of this monastery was commissioned by king Manuel I to commemorate Vasco da Gama' s voyage; to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for its success and to create a royal pantheon for the Aviz-Beja dinasty.

large_4cd787e0-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

large_49e45f90-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

large_45e9d960-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

large_421307d0-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

The monastery was built on the site of a hermitage founded by Henry the Navigator around 1450. They begun to build it in 1502 and it took nearly the entire 16th century to complete it. Its predominant architectural style is Manueline. It was built in stages and designed by three architects. Diogo Boitac designed the lower floor in Manueline style.

The church of the monastery is also the resting place of Vasco Da Gama, Manuel I, his wife Maria and Luis De Camoes.

large_9cbd05a0-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

The naval museum (Museu de Marinha) is a large museum with lots of exibits. These include paintings, lots of scale models of ships from the Age of Discoveries onwards; navigations instruments, maps and other things related to the sea travels.

This museum occupies a part of the western wing of the Jerònimos monastery.

What I liked most at this museum were the royal barges. These are large boats used by the Portuguese kings and queens. I also liked very much the cabins of the royal yacht Amàlia; dating from 1900.

large_9e80d5b0-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

large_a371a2c0-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

large_a702dfd0-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

large_Museu_de_Marinha__6.jpg

A cabin of the royal yacht Amàlia.

large_Museu_de_Marinha__7.jpg

Another cabin of the same yacht.

large_733304f0-81e8-11e9-9c3e-f9244c90c3c5.JPG

After the visit to the monastery you could have a break at the Antiga Confetaria de Belém. This is a very large cafe-confectionery with several rooms. Some of these are decorated with azulejos (blue tiles).

large_f7b854f0-822e-11e9-bf0a-b33a1c17926e.jpg

Here you can have some good custard tarts called pasteis de Belém. This sweet is believed was created before the 18th century by the nuns at the monastery of Jerònimos.

These pastries are served warm and sprinkled with cinnamon and/or sugar (if you like). Their original receipt is kept secret. Only three persons know it.

Antiga Confeitaria de Belém was the first place to sell these tarts since 1837.

large_641b3050-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

The coaches museum (Museu Nacional dos Coches) is also located in Belém. It is housed in a two storeys building that was an old horse riding arena used for training horses and for horse riding exibitions.

Here you can see a large collection of horse drawn carriages, chaises and sedan chairs dated from the 17th to the 19th centuries. These belonged to the Portuguese royal family and nobility.

large_6534b6a0-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

large_65ac7eb0-81e8-11e9-bf10-b9591b55782c.JPG

large_6bb72030-81e8-11e9-9c3e-f9244c90c3c5.JPG

Once you visited the ground floor (it is made of two rooms) you can climb a staircase to the first floor where you can see several portraits of the Braganca dinasty and various other things.

large_f3905620-822e-11e9-bf0a-b33a1c17926e.jpg

large_f0811a50-822e-11e9-bf0a-b33a1c17926e.jpg

The tower of Belém. It was built between 1515 and 1520. This is the only monument built mostly in Manueline style in Lisbon (some of its decorations date from the renovation of the 1840).

It served as a lookout point over the Tagus river and to defend the port of Lisbon. It was used as a fortress, as a prison, as a lighthouse and also as a telegraph office and a custom post.

large_b98d0590-81ed-11e9-9c3e-f9244c90c3c5.JPG

Mercado da Ribeira is a large covered market that has been opened since 1892.

On its ground floor there are lots of stalls with fresh produce as fruits and vegetables, meat, fish and other food. There was a good choice of food last time I visited it.

large_1a981270-8163-11e9-99a7-831f136236e2.JPG

On the ground floor there is also a food court with 35 kiosks where you can sample various food specialities. It occupies a half of this market. Here you can have lunch, a ice cream (see Santini ice creams) or a pastry.

As it is situated opposite Cais do Sodrè train station, a vist to this market is a good place to spend some time if you have to wait for your train.

large_1da04960-8163-11e9-99a7-831f136236e2.JPG

Coringa is another favourite restaurant of mine. It was very convenient for me because it was just some meters far from my hotel. Address; Av. Fontes Pereira de Melo nº 3B. Metro; Parque.

large_0f123e30-8163-11e9-99a7-831f136236e2.JPG

This restaurant is modern furnished. It has a dining room and some tables outside.

The menu of the day there consists in a meat or fish dish with vegetables. It doesn' t include a drink and a dessert or coffee. It is a budget choice anyway. Their menu a la carte has a good choice of fish and meat dishes.

large_dce962e0-822e-11e9-bf0a-b33a1c17926e.jpg

The Oceanario is more than an aquarium. In fact this structure was set to recreate the five ocean habitats. Here you' ll see various kinds of fishes and other sea creatures.

large_df377190-822e-11e9-bf0a-b33a1c17926e.jpg

large_e1493a90-822e-11e9-bf0a-b33a1c17926e.jpg

large_e53f7b00-822e-11e9-bf0a-b33a1c17926e.jpg

I liked very much watching at some large groups of fishes swimming; the mantas that seemed to fly and two otters swimming on their back. There are also some penguins there.

The Oceanario is located within the modern area of Parque das Nações that was developed for the World Expo held in Lisbon in 1998.

Lisbon has lot more to offer beside the attractions and the places I wrote about in this post!

Posted by Maurizioagos 11:12 Archived in Portugal Tagged lisbon portugal. Comments (0)

Riva del Garda.

sunny

large_34ee2360-8205-11e9-9136-a34e52efde81.JPG

Riva del Garda is a nice town situated at the northern tip of the lake Garda. It is around one hour by car from my village.

In the spring and summer it is a very touristic town.

large_CIMG7729.JPG

There are lots of colorful houses in this town.

large_CIMG7731.JPG

large_ed190230-8204-11e9-9136-a34e52efde81.jpg

Via Piave is one of the nicest streets in this town.

large_e5204c50-8204-11e9-9136-a34e52efde81.JPG

Contrada Marocco is a neighbourhood in Riva del Garda that has nothing to do with Morocco. This area that takes its name from landslides; practically these are big stones where several houses where built here. Marocche is the name of big stones in the local dialect.

Here you can see various old houses, a square with a washing trough and an ancient palace; Palazzo del Vescovo (the bishop' s palace).

large_e72bfad0-8204-11e9-9136-a34e52efde81.JPG

I suppose this is one of the oldest areas in Riva del Garda.

large_CIMG7738.JPG

Palazzo del Vescovo; the bishop' s palace.

large_CIMG7740.JPG

Piazza III novembre is the main square in Riva del Garda.

Here you can see the town hall built in the XV century joined to Palazzo Pretorio (XIV century). Opposite this palace there is a very ancient tower; the Apponale tower. It was built towards 1200 and raised in 1552.

On its ground level there were warehouses for salt and wheat and other stores. It was also used as a prison. During the WWI the tower was an observation post. You can enjoy a beautiful landscape over the main square of the town and other areas from its top.

large_CIMG7739.JPG

Piazza III Novembre is partly surrounded by XIV century porticoes. There are some shops and a good restaurant - pizzeria (see restaurant hotel Centrale) under these.

large_CIMG7743.JPG

large_CIMG7733.JPG

Here you see the small square joined to piazza III Novembre.

large_CIMG7744.JPG

Sometimes when I visit Riva del Garda I have lunch at the restaurant of hotel Centrale. This is a large three star hotel located at the main square of Riva del Garda.

I don' know how many dinner rooms there are at this hotel. One of these is under the old arcades. It is closed by glass, so that people could eat there even in the winter.

large_CIMG7742.JPG

There are various dishes on the menu at this restaurants. There are even several fish dishes and a good choice of pizzas. Pizzas at restaurant Centrale are very large.

large_CIMG7747.JPG

You can do several boat trips to various villages or towns from Riva del Garda. There are ferries, hydrofoils and motorised catamarans that opearate all year.

For instance you can go to Limone and Malcesine.

Limone lies on the north-western shore of the lake. Its name comes from the latin word "limen", which means border. It is a small town with cobbled streets, some churches, various shops, cafes and restaurants.

Malcesine is located almost opposite Limone. Its main sight is the castle which was probably built in the first millenium a. C. by the Longobards and modified through the centuries. Today it houses a couple of museums.

large_CIMG7748.JPG

There is a fortress in Riva del Garda. La Rocca. It was built in 1124 and altered through the centuries. Today it houses a museums with paintings,pictures and archaeological finds.

Posted by Maurizioagos 09:30 Archived in Italy Tagged lake del garda riva trentino alto garda. adige. Comments (2)

Rimini and some day trips.

large_5a572bb0-7b16-11e9-a080-a9915b44360c.JPG

large_DSCN0687.JPG

Being a sea side resort, most of the people go to Rimini in order to spend some hours (or most of their time) on the beaches.

In Rimini there is practically a long strip of beach. It is 15 kilometers long or maybe more.

Many beaches are of private property, but there are free of charge ones. There are dogs friendly beaches as well.

As in most of the Italian seaside resort these beaches are very crowded during the month of august. Thus I' d suggest to spend your days in Rimini in june or at the beginning of september.

large_5ddc81e0-7b16-11e9-a080-a9915b44360c.JPG

large_d43a8f70-7bb7-11e9-97b0-1f5bd3d9de91.JPG

The Malatestian temple is one of the main sights in Rimini.

There was a church since the IX century on its site.Then it was built the church of Saint Francis in the XIII century. It was redesigned in 1450 by order of Sigismondo Malatesta as his and her mistress' burial site.

large_d747a860-7bb7-11e9-97b0-1f5bd3d9de91.JPG

Inside it is richly ornated with sculptures. Its main sights are a crucifix by Giotto; created in 1312 and a fresco by Piero della Francesca of 1451 depicting Sigismondo kneeling in front of Saint Sigismond.

large_602efd60-7b16-11e9-a080-a9915b44360c.JPG

large_6829fd30-7b16-11e9-a080-a9915b44360c.JPG

This church was restored after it suffered serious damages in the WWII war.

large_DSCN0635.JPG

Piazza tre Martiri is one of the two main squares in Rimini. It occupies partly the forum or Ariminum; the Roman colony founded in 268 B. C.

Its previous names were; Piazza Grande, Piazza Sant Antonio, Piazza Giulio Cesare and Piazza delle Erbe. It was named "tre Martiri" to commemorate the death of three partisans hanged there in 1944. Martiri means "marthyrs".

large_415723c0-7cb7-11e9-92e2-8538d39eca8d.JPG

Here you see a nice clock tower, built in 1547 and rebuilt in 1753 and the small chapel dedicated to Saint Anthony. This dates between 1575 and 1578.

large_DSCN0631-001.JPG

Saint Anthony' s chapel.

large_c93bda90-b233-11e9-9535-e99c88916bd9.JPG

Vulpitta is one of my favourite shops in Rimini. Here they sell sweets, wines, alcoholic drinks, tea, coffee and lots of other items. You can find it around the corner of piazza Tre Martiri; in corso d' Augusto.

large_DSCN0697-001.JPG

Vulpitta is a small shop but full of things. I could stay into this shop for a lot of time, really.

large_c16e6560-7bb7-11e9-b3bd-4376c6043e07.JPG

La Casa del Chirurgo. The Surgeon' s house.

There are some Roman remains in Rimini. One of these is a large floor mostly decorated with mosaics. This is what is left of the house of a surgeon. It was built during the second half of the second century A. D.

It was a two storey building with several rooms and a garden. There was even a workplace for visits and operations.

Various surgical tools were found here. Now these are in the city museum.

large_baa5a400-7bb7-11e9-b3bd-4376c6043e07.JPG

large_bd1fcbc0-7bb7-11e9-b3bd-4376c6043e07.JPG

If you are quite attentive you can spot a couple of skeletons among the mosaics.

large_c64568e0-7bb7-11e9-b3bd-4376c6043e07.JPG

Piazza Cavour is another square in this town.

large_c8f65810-7bb7-11e9-b3bd-4376c6043e07.JPG

There are three palace joined together in Piazza Cavour. On your right; near the street you see Palazzo Garampi; built at the end of the XVII century. It is used as town hall today. Palazzo dell' Arengo that housed a tribunal, is located in the middle of this group of palaces. It was built in 1204. The third palace is Palazzo del Podestà . This was were the lord of the town lived. It dates between 1330 e il 1334. Today it is the seat of various expositions .

Next to the palaces there is the theater Amintore Galli built between 1843 and 1856.

large_ccc3dad0-7bb7-11e9-b3bd-4376c6043e07.JPG

large_4f2c5ee0-7a49-11e9-92fc-d776fdd5b80a.JPG

In piazza Cavour there is a large fountain; fontana della Pigna (i. e. pine cone). There is also a big statue of Pope Paul V. I am sorry, but I didn' t take a pic of this statue.

large_437b34e0-7a49-11e9-92fc-d776fdd5b80a.JPG

Opposite the three palaces you see an old fish market; built in 1743. Today there is a flowers market inside this building. I suppose it is in operation every morning.

large_57a5ee60-7b16-11e9-a080-a9915b44360c.JPG

Città del Sole is one of my favourite shops in Rimini. Here you can find mostly toys, but also something for adults, as table games and books. This shop is part of a chain which has shops located in various towns in Italy.

large_df8e35a0-7cb3-11e9-92e2-8538d39eca8d.JPG

Città del Sole is located at via Tempio Malatestiano. At n. 45.

large_d698d040-7cb3-11e9-92e2-8538d39eca8d.JPG

large_d4f8b4d0-7cb3-11e9-92e2-8538d39eca8d.JPG

Get lost in Rimini! You will discover several nice areas.

large_dc9ad9c0-7c04-11e9-be62-d10a755242fa.JPG

The Tiberius bridge is a beautiful Roman bridge. This five arched Istrian stone bridge was started during the reign of Augustus in 14 A. D. and completed under Tiberius' reign in 21 A. D.

Originally it was built to cross the Marecchia river, but this was later diverted to avoid floods. Tiberius bridge has survived floods, war attacks and earthquakes.

It connects corso d' Augusto; the old town' s main street with Saint Giuliano quarter (Borgo San Giuliano). This bridge is open to pedestrians and cars except for heavy vehicles.

large_050362a0-7cba-11e9-ad19-2175bfbad4d2.jpg

Borgo San Giuliano is one of the oldest areas in Rimini. It was originally inhabited by seafarers and fishermen.

large_b68a7670-7bb7-11e9-b3bd-4376c6043e07.JPG

Today this area is a kind of village, with lots of colorful houses, the main square with a church; several cafes, restaurants and shops.

large_d029d120-7d83-11e9-bfb8-f511d6b4cb8b.JPG

I stayed some times at a nice three stars hotel in Rimini. Hotel Clitunno. It is situated in Viserbella; an area part of Rimini.

Last time I booked a room there, I was given a double room with bathroom en suite there. It had also a small balcony.

Breakfast at hotel Catullo is buffet style with various pastries, bread, cold cuts, jam and other food.

Hot drinks, as coffee, cappuccino and hot chocolate are served at your table. Lunch and dinner are partly buffet style. Food at hotel Clitunno was really good.

Hotel Clitunno has a communal room, a cafe and a terrace. This hotel is located near the sea. See; www.hotelclitunno.net

large_ebacbaf0-7c04-11e9-be62-d10a755242fa.JPG

Cesenatico is a beautiful sea side resort located between Rimini and Ravenna.

I did a day trip from Rimini to this town last time I visited Rimini. The journey from Rimini to Cesenatico lasted around half an hour by train.

I didn' t visit any beaches in Cesenatico the day I was there, I only stayed in the old center and I walked a lot.

large_ede6cc70-7c04-11e9-be62-d10a755242fa.JPG

large_f0529c50-7c04-11e9-be62-d10a755242fa.JPG

large_f34f3a80-7c04-11e9-be62-d10a755242fa.JPG

The main sight in Cesenatico is its canal port. It is said it was designed by Leonardo da Vinci in 1502. The port is situated in the center of Cesenatico.

large_f66a5d30-7c04-11e9-be62-d10a755242fa.JPG

This port is bordered by lots of buildings painted in various colours. Many of these house shops, cafes and restaurants. There are some colourful old boats moored at this port which are part of the museo della marineria (a naval museum).

large_61dfd0d0-7a49-11e9-92fc-d776fdd5b80a.JPG

Santarcangelo di Romagna is a beautiful village some 10 kilometers far from Rimini. I went there by bus from Rimini.

It has a fortress (Rocca), built in 1386 (there was a previous one); enlarged and modified after a century. Near and below the fortress you can stroll though the Medieval area of the village with a network of narrow cobbled streets and nice houses. The "modern" area has lots of shops and cafes to rest a bit.

large_5f5ea430-7a49-11e9-92fc-d776fdd5b80a.JPG

Santarcangelo has also a couple of museums. A museum of buttons; where you can see a large display of buttons from various ages and an archaeological museum.

large_5cf78f40-7a49-11e9-92fc-d776fdd5b80a.JPG

Beside Cesenatico and Santarcangelo di Romagna you can visit San Marino as a day trip from Rimini.

San Marino is a country located within Italy. It is the third smallest country in Europe and one of the oldest in the world.

According a legend San Marino was founded by Marinus, a Dalmatian stomemason, in 301 A. D. He left his country to avoid the christian persecutions of Diocleatianus.

There are nine municipalities in this country. These are called "castelli".

I will tell you something about its capitol town; San Marino. Yes, it bears the same name of the state.

large_22a2e710-7dfd-11e9-bd43-43fd6561ef84.JPG

Piazza della Libertà is San Marino main square. Here you can see the Palazzo Pubblico. This palace is the seat of the parliament and where important official happenings take place. It was built in 1894.

large_263f47b0-7dfd-11e9-bd43-43fd6561ef84.JPG

This country has several shops that offer tax free goods for foreigners. San Marino even if it is a small town has a good choice of shops of various kinds.

large_306b3140-7dfd-11e9-bd43-43fd6561ef84.JPG

There are three towers in San Marino. Well; two of them are fortresses, The other is a proper tower.

The first tower is called Torre Rocca or Guaita. It dates around to the XI century.

large_35010d10-7dfd-11e9-bd43-43fd6561ef84.JPG

Here you see another picture taken inside the first tower.

large_37bf69c0-7dfd-11e9-bd43-43fd6561ef84.JPG

The second tower; Torre Cesta or Fratta was built around the 1400. It is situated on the highest point of the Mount Titano.

It houses a weaponry museum inside.

This picture was taken from the second tower.

large_441203e0-7dfd-11e9-bd43-43fd6561ef84.JPG

Another picture taken from the second tower.

The third tower is called Montale and housed a prison. It is not opened to visitors. I didn' t take any picture of this tower.

The three towers are linked by a stone path called "sentiero delle streghe" (i. e. witches path).

large_4cf2f6e0-7dfd-11e9-bd43-43fd6561ef84.JPG

The area you see in this picture is the Cava dei Balestrieri (the crossbowmen' s cave). It is the site of many events.

large_511bb900-7dfd-11e9-bd43-43fd6561ef84.JPG

There are some nice statues inside this cave.

large_8d17ac70-7e16-11e9-818a-a31dd31531ad.JPG

After a long stroll you can rest a bit at this garden; the Giardino dei Liburni.

large_947fe220-7e16-11e9-818a-a31dd31531ad.JPG

This garden is quite simple, but nice.

large_517bda60-7dfd-11e9-bd43-43fd6561ef84.JPG

There are several daily buses from Rimini to San Marino. You can take one just outside the train station.

Posted by Maurizioagos 11:29 Archived in Italy Tagged sant di angelo rimini sea. romagna.san marino. Comments (0)

Lucca.

Lucca is a beautiful town located 85 km. west of Florence. It was the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini; the famous music composer.

Its old core is surrounded by defence walls. These are 12 meters tall.

Lucca has lots of churches and a couple of palaces to visit. You can visit it as a day trip from Florence. There are daily buses and trains from there.

large_3fd6d0e0-77cb-11e9-b555-c7ea9e6bf64c.JPG

The walls of Lucca were built in four stages.

large_3bf4dbc0-77cb-11e9-b555-c7ea9e6bf64c.JPG

large_7a4328e0-797f-11e9-94bb-f72418286630.JPG

At the beginning they were constructed in Roman times. Later the walls were rebuilt between XI and XII centuries. The third phase of the building began in the XVI century and finished in 1544. The present construction dates from 1544 to 1650.

large_7d75afd0-77ed-11e9-81c6-399699aa2d04.jpg

The top of the walls is paved and lined with trees. You can walk or cycle on them.

large_6dc730a0-7986-11e9-9e1c-9b78f57f3a6f.JPG

Piazza San Michele.

large_dec2fcf0-77fe-11e9-b93d-dfaf3a8fadcc.JPG

San Michele in Foro is a church built between the 11th and the 14th century. It is located where the Roman forum was.

Its richly sculpted facade is bigger than the rest of the chuch, because money ran out before it was completed.

At the top of the church you can see a statue of archangel Michael with movable wings. When the wind is strong they can be retracted.

A legend say that if you catch a green glimmer from this statue, in a peculiar condition of light you will have good luck.

large_4e36ee40-77cb-11e9-b555-c7ea9e6bf64c.JPG

Via Fillungo is Lucca main street. It is a long street lined with lots of shops.

large_70978e70-77b4-11e9-99c9-2d252d68f7ce.JPG

Piazza Anfiteatro is Lucca main square. It can' t really be defined a square, because it is elliptical. In fact it was built on the foundations of a Roman amphitheater built in the second half of the first century A. D.

Later it was used as a quarry to supply the town with materials for churches and palaces. Several buildings were constructed inside this oval area in the Middle Ages. In the 19th century all these buildings were removed and the square was created.

large_393cee20-7980-11e9-94bb-f72418286630.JPG

large_6c17abe0-7986-11e9-9e1c-9b78f57f3a6f.JPG

In this square there are various shops, some restaurants and cafes. It is also a venue for various events.

large_9b8f11f0-77ed-11e9-81c6-399699aa2d04.jpg

In the Middle Ages there were 130 towers in Lucca. Today only two of these are left. You can climb to their tops of these towers and enjoy the landscape over the town.

large_97fa9070-77b4-11e9-99c9-2d252d68f7ce.JPG

One of these is named torre Guinigi. It was built around 1390 and is 45 meters tall. There are some oak trees on its top. The other is a bell tower called torre delle Ore. It was built around the XIII century. In this picture you can see the Guinigi tower.

large_cb5c4030-77b4-11e9-99c9-2d252d68f7ce.JPG

Wiev from the top of the Guinigi tower.

large_d7d9e1f0-77b4-11e9-99c9-2d252d68f7ce.JPG

Antoher picture taken from the top of the Guinigi tower.

large_4397e8c0-7895-11e9-9a8c-cb39b9f0c43f.jpg

Another church you could visit is the Basilica di San Frediano. It was built between 560 and 588 and rebuilt in the first half of the XII century. In the XIII century it was heightened and a golden mosaic was added on its facade. This mosaic represents the Christ redeemer.

The church you see today was built between 1112 and 1147. This church houses the mummified body of Saint Zita. One of the saints who lived in Lucca.

large_86a02ef0-77ed-11e9-81c6-399699aa2d04.jpg

One of the main sights you can admire inside the curch is a baptismal font built in the XII century. It is sculpted with stories of Moses, the apostles and the months.

large_83f35e70-77ed-11e9-81c6-399699aa2d04.jpg

Close up of the baptismal font.

large_6d185730-797f-11e9-94bb-f72418286630.JPG

Caffè del Mercato; also called Il Barino is my favourite restaurant in Lucca. It is a cafe restaurant just beside San Michele in Foro church. At Il Barino food is good and also cheap.

large_921dc5d0-77ed-11e9-81c6-399699aa2d04.jpg

Palazzo Pfanner is a palace opened to visitors.

It was built in the second half of the XVII century for the Moriconi family. They were noble silk merchants.

In 1680 the property was taken over by the Contarini; another family of noble merchants.

In the second half of the ninethenth century the palace was bought by an Austrian brewer; Felix Pfanner who was asked to come to Lucca in 1846 by duke Carlo Lodovico di Borbone who wished a skilled brewer to make beer in town.

Inside this palace you can see the old kitchen, some nice rooms and a collection of surgical instruments belonged to Pietro Pfanner; son of Felix.

large_8e663c10-77ed-11e9-81c6-399699aa2d04.jpg

Palazzo Pfanner has a beautiful garden with statues representing the four seasons and some divinities. You can spot this garden from the town walls.

large_3680ed70-77f6-11e9-b93d-dfaf3a8fadcc.JPG

Piazza Napoleone is a square quite near piazza San Michele. It is also called piazza Grande. It was named after Napoleon, whose sister Elisa Baciocchi Bonaparte ruled Lucca from 1805 until 1815.

large_34c22670-77f6-11e9-b93d-dfaf3a8fadcc.JPG

Many buildings, the salt storeroom and a church were demolished to build this square in 1806.

Palazzo Ducale (the ducal palace), several shops and cafes and some restaurants surround this large square. Palazzo Ducale is used as offices. There is a museum inside.

large_c4f63840-77b4-11e9-99c9-2d252d68f7ce.JPG

The duomo of San Martino (the cathedral) was founded in the VI century. It was rebuilt around 1060 and renewed between the XII and the XIII centuries. The interior was rebuilt in the 14th and 15th centuries.

One of the sights of the cathedral is the Civitali' s tempietto. It was built in 1482. This small temple houses the Volto Santo (Holy Face). This is a large wooden crucifix said to have been carved by Nicodemus; the biblical figure who helped Joseph of Arimathea remove Christ' s body from the cross. I have read somewhere that this sculpture couldn' t be the original one, but could have been carved between XI and XIII centuries.

Another thing not to miss inside this church is the sarcophagus of Ilaria del Carretto. It was made between 1407 and 1408. Ilaria was one of Paolo Guinigi' s wifes. The lord of Lucca. She died very young. I think she was 26.

large_29dd6220-7980-11e9-94bb-f72418286630.JPG

Lucca has a small and beautiful botanical garden. It was created in the 1820 as a research and education center.

large_2fa72a10-7980-11e9-94bb-f72418286630.JPG

Near its entrance there is the so-called montagnola with flowers and plants from the mountains near Lucca and Pisa. There are some greenhouses; a collection of medicinal species of plants; a library and a museums with old herbariums.

large_34eec9b0-7980-11e9-94bb-f72418286630.JPG

large_36b61c30-7980-11e9-94bb-f72418286630.JPG

There is a lake full of water lilies at the garden.

large_e2a19650-77b4-11e9-99c9-2d252d68f7ce.JPG

Mercato del Carmine is a covered market which was a church years ago. Here you can find only some stalls where you can buy fruit and vegetables. When I visited this market there was a good choice of produce to buy at these stalls.

Around the market there is a cafe, a sweet shop and some shops that sells meat of various kind. These shops have an entrance inside and outside the market. The cafe has some chairs and tables inside the market.

There are the toilets into the market.

A note about transportation. It is better to go to Lucca by bus. The train station is quite far from the town center.

Some years ago I went to Lucca by train. Once I arrived at the train station I had to go through the walls; climb up and down some stairs (with my heavy luggage), walk inside a tunnel (under the ramparts) and then carry on walking for some miles to my accomodation that was in the town center.

If you are going to Lucca by train; once at Lucca train station you should ask somebody where you can find the nearest gate to avoid climbing the ramparts. Then look for a navetta (electric minibus) to the city center. Otherwise you could take a taxi to your accomodation.

large_c2341570-793d-11e9-9ba1-9941ce9b2586.JPG

If you will spend some days in Lucca you can do a day trip to Viareggio. This is a beautiful seaside resort some 25 km from Lucca. It has around 10 kilometers of sandy beach and is famous for its carnival.

This town has many Art Nouveau buildings. The tourist office in Viareggio has a useful map with the locations of these.

When I visted Viareggio I did a long stroll on the seafront promenade. It is more than 3 km long! This long street is lined with shops, cafes and restaurants.

The origin of the Carnival in Viareggio dates from 1873 when a group of young borgeouses who used to go to the Caffe del Casinò thought about a parade of carriages and masked people.

large_Viareggio.JPG

large_e57fb060-77fe-11e9-b93d-dfaf3a8fadcc.JPG

A restaurant in Viareggio.

Posted by Maurizioagos 10:52 Archived in Italy Tagged lucca tuscany viareggio. Comments (6)

(Entries 16 - 30 of 56) « Page 1 [2] 3 4 »